80 years after Meyer vs. Nebraska, a judge rules against the "Hispanic language"

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Wed Oct 15 13:29:21 UTC 2003

>>From the Philadelphia Enquirer,  Posted on Wed, Oct. 15, 2003

Speak English to child, judge orders her father

By Jean Ortiz
Associated Press

PAPILLION, Neb. - A Hispanic man who spoke to his 5-year-old daughter in
Spanish has been ordered to use primarily English around the girl as a
condition of his visitation rights. Sarpy County Judge Ronald E. Reagan
said that the child did not understand Spanish and that her father should
speak to her in the language she knew.

Eloy Amador, who was released from jail seven months ago after serving a
five-year sentence for drug possession, told the judge that he spoke
Spanish to the girl to share his culture, not to force a language on her.
"I don't come to her speaking in Spanish, but there are times where I try
to teach her what hair is in Spanish, what hand is, stuff like that,"
Amador said during a Sept. 15 hearing on visitation.

The judge did not oppose that but said the rest of the communication
should be in English for the sake of the girl's education. "The principal
form of communication during the periods of visitation is going to be
English," Reagan said. "That does not mean that you can't instruct and
teach her the Hispanic language." The girl's mother, Michaela Krayneski,
requested that Amador speak English as a condition of visitation. Calls to
Krayneski's attorney were not returned yesterday.

Amador's attorney, John Allen Sellers, said he was surprised the judge
"would consider a restraint such as this based on racial or cultural
differences of the parents."

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