A cellphone video of a Socorro High School substitute high school teacher telling a Latino student to “Speak English, we’re in America” has led to the teacher being put on paid suspension.
The incident, according to local El Paso media, happened earlier this week.
“Junior Carlos Cobian says he walked into class watching a soccer match on his cell phone, while other students were also on their phones,” KVIA reported. The teacher then asked for Cobian’s cellphone and when he answered, “¿Por qué,” this happened:
Cobian told KVIA that he has not faced any disciplinary action for having a cellphone while walking in to class.
Socorro ISD is the second largest school district in the El Paso area. It is located east of the city.
On Friday afternoon, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) issued a statement, calling for the Texas Education Agency and the Socorro ISD to permanently ban the substitute teacher
“The substitute teacher caught on camera telling a student to ‘Speak English’ must be permanently banned from instructing students effective immediately. Teachers and all school staff are meant to be leaders and mentors to our children —not racists who harbor anti-immigrant sentiments,” said Domingo Garcia, LULAC National President. “From 1918 until the Texas Bilingual Act in 1969, Texas laws banned Spanish in public schools and many of us remember personally that this was enforced with humiliating corporal punishment in schools. It is abominable that this institutionalized racism against the Hispanic community in Texas hasn’t ended.”
“The days when a Hispanic student’s mouth would get washed with soap for speaking Spanish are long gone,” said Mary Yañez, LULAC El Paso District Director. “We ask the Socorro Independent School District to investigate this matter and if racial comments were made by the teacher, she should be banned from teaching.”