Vatican 2.2? Wichita Catholic School goes English-only

Dennis Baron debaron at uiuc.edu
Mon Oct 22 04:45:13 UTC 2007


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Vatican 2.2?  Wichita Catholic School goes English-only

A Wichita Catholic school is now requiring its students to speak only  
English in school.

In September, officials at St. Anne School sent home a letter  
notifying parents of the new policy, enacted to punish four students  
for allegedly using Spanish to bully other children and make fun of  
teachers and administrators.

There are 75 Hispanic and 27 Asian children in the 243-student  
school, which runs from pre-kindergarten to eighth grade and has no  
foreign-language classes.  Bullying and disrespectful behavior were  
already prohibited by the school handbook, but the school’s letter  
failed to explain why that policy was insufficient to deal with the  
recent incidents.  Nor did it specify why the school’s 71 remaining  
Spanish speakers, along with its Vietnamese- and Chinese-speaking  
students, were also being punished by having their languages banned  
from the hallways.  And it failed to indicate whether students who  
bully others or disrespect their teachers in English will be forced  
to stop speaking altogether. . . .

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Dennis Baron
Professor of English and Linguistics
Department of English
University of Illinois
608 S. Wright St.
Urbana, IL 61801

office: 217-244-0568
fax: 217-333-4321

www.uiuc.edu/goto/debaron

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