A middle school principal in Hempstead, TX is on paid administrative leave after claims that she attempted to ban students from speaking Spanish in the classroom. Qué?
A spokeswoman for the school district told local reporters that they have no formal policy banning Spanish in schools, but that “some type of announcement” was made over the school’s public address system in November. The content of that announcement is still under investigation.
The principal, Amy Lacey, was put on leave on November 26. Such a policy could be in violation of the equal protection clause in the United States Constitution. The Mexican American Legal and Educational Fund (MALDEF) wrote a letter to the school informing them that legal action could be taken.
“The anti-Spanish policy also invites potential challenges under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which protects ‘pure speech’ of prisoners, employees and, of course, students,” David Hinojosa of MALDEF wrote in the letter.