News From the Border

Providing the news from a different front but from a war that we must win as well! I recognize the poverty and desperate conditions that many Latinos live in. We, as the USA, have a responsibility to do as much as we can to reach out to aid and assist spiritually with the Gospel and naturally with training, technology and resources. But poverty gives no one the right to break the laws of another sovereign nation.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Hispanics Sue Over English-Only Rule at Catholic School

Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Associated Press

WICHITA, Kan.

Four Hispanic families are suing St. Anne's Catholic School over a policy that requires students to speak English at all times while at school.

The lawsuit, filed Monday, calls for an end to the policy and asks for an order barring similar policies at other diocese schools. It seeks the return of one student to the school who was allegedly kicked out for refusing to sign the "English only" pledge. And it asks for court costs and unspecified damages for discrimination and emotional suffering.

"Language is an essential characteristic of one's national origin," according to the complaint filed in the case. "The ban on Spanish at St. Anne's created an atmosphere of intimidation, inferiority and isolation for Hispanic students."

The lawsuit was filed by parents Mike and Clara Silva, Maria and Fermin Fernandez, Guadalupe Cruz-Tello and Alma Contreras on behalf of themselves and their minor children. It names as defendants St. Anne Catholic School, Principal Margaret Nugent, St. Anne Catholic Parish and the Catholic Diocese of Wichita.

"I think if one school is granted their wish by not allowing their students to speak another language, then other schools will follow suit," Mike Silva said.

Diocese spokesman Fred Solis called the lawsuit unfortunate, saying the church has historically offered support and services to minorities and spoken out for immigrant rights.

The diocese has said the school enacted the policy in response to four students who were using Spanish to bully others and to put down teachers and administrators.

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