Arizona has already become the laughing-stock of the nation by passing an anti-immigration bill that would allow police to demand proof of citizenship of anyone who seems to be "breathing while Latino," and now things have gotten even worse. The state's Department of Education has been telling school districts that teachers with accents shouldn't be teaching English and have to be removed from their classrooms or take classes. As summed up nicely by ThinkProgress:
But many schools in the state still have a significant number of teachers who are native Spanish speakers. At one school, state auditors complained that teachers pronounced “words such as violet as ‘biolet,’ think as ‘tink’ and swallow the ending sounds of words, as they sometimes do in Spanish.” The principal at that school acknowledged that teachers “should speak grammatically correct English” but said they shouldn’t be punished for having an accent.
As the Huffington Post points out, this runs counter to the work Arizona did in the last couple of decades to recruit English as a Second Language teachers for whom Spanish was a first language. Also, as someone who listens to people talk for a living, I can tell you that no one speaks grammatically. It's just not the way the spoken language works. But obviously, this isn't about concerns over teaching the children anything.
On Thursday, the state Legislature also decided that ethnic studies programs were designed to stoke racial resentments and has passed a measure banning them:
The measure is directed at the Tuscon Unified School District’s popular Mexican-American studies department, which school officials say provides only “historical information” — not “ethnic chauvanism” as the state school superintendent has alleged. One state lawmaker tried to show how ridiculous the legislation is by proposing that schools be barred from teaching about 9/11 because it would result in hatred toward Arab-Americans; the measure failed.
Yes. Because we don't learn anything about white people in America. Gov. Jan Brewer might not sign it, but it's hard to have hope that she won't after the anti-immigration bill.
UPDATE: Now, I think Arizona's actually gone off the deep end, or they're playing a practical joke on us now. Because now they're going after minotaurs.
-- Monica Potts
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