Students Walk Out After Teacher Says 'Speak American'

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"Men and women are fighting," the teacher told her students. "They are not fighting for your right to speak Spanish."

UPDATE: After the news broke that a teacher called out her students for speaking Spanish and demanded that they "speak American" last week, the entire student body took action against the racist educator by holding a campus walkout on Monday. 

Using social media, students spread the word to one another about the demonstration and instructed their classmates to bring flags, shirts, jerseys, or other symbols representing their cultures and ethnicities. 

According to NBC News, nearly 100 students took part in the protest, even though the principal did not authorize the action and warned students would be disciplined for going through with it. 

This show of solidarity and unity is important as it reflects the youth coming together to support one another to stand against the racism and discrimination that were the driving forces behind the teacher's comments.

Additionally, the action draws more attention to the issue, which forces the administration to handle it as opposed to trying to let the controversy die down so they can sweep the incident under the rug.  

Racism — whether blatant or subtle — should not be tolerated in any place in our country, and especially not in our classrooms.   


A New Jersey teacher was caught on camera, asking Spanish speaking students to "speak American."

The incident occurred at Cliffside Park High School and was caught on a Snapchat video. It all began after the teacher reportedly caught two of her students whispering to each other in Spanish.

The video begins with the teacher saying, "Men and women are fighting. They are not fighting for your right to speak Spanish. They are fighting for your right to speak American."

At the end, one of the students gets up and says, “You’re being racist. I know how to speak English.”

Later, other students present in the class also walk out of the class. The school reportedly has a large population of Latino students.

A graduate of the school, Maria Reyes, spoke to NorthJersey.com about the teacher's comments: "This is a teacher in Cliffside Park High School; she isn’t allowing the student to express his constitutional right."

"Going to this school, and now my sister does, I really do not want a teacher like this," Reyes added.

The school's principal also called an assembly to address the incident as some student brought the flags representing their heritage in protest.

While some people have also criticized students for not paying attention during class, many believe it was uncalled for to drag their ethnicity and language in the situation and ask them to speak "American," which, obviously, is not even a real language.

Ironically, the teacher involved in the incident teaches English at the school.

Banner/Thumbnail: Reuters Carlo Allegri

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