Archive for the “Multiculturalism” Category

Issues divide ethnic groups
Washington Times
December 15 2007

Blacks, Hispanics and Asians have deep divisions and disagreements about equal opportunity, impartial criminal justice and the American dream, according to a new poll by New America Media.

But the data showing deep divisions among the three largest U.S. minority groups was offset by evidence that the groups also see themselves as having a shared destiny and view one another in some positive lights also.

California-based New America Media, a national collaboration of ethnic news organizations under the nonprofit Pacific News Service, funded the study, which found that many ethnic minorities hold to negative stereotypes about each other. For example, 44 percent of Hispanic respondents and 47 percent of Asians answered yes to a question about whether they were “generally afraid of African-Americans because they are responsible for most of the crime.”

Meanwhile, 46 percent of Hispanics and 52 percent of blacks responded yes to whether “most Asian business owners do not treat them with respect.” And 51 percent of blacks said they agreed that “Latin American immigrants are taking away jobs, housing and political power from the black community.”

The groups also differ in their opinions of broader U.S. society, with 74 percent of Hispanics and 64 percent of Asians strongly agreeing with the statement that “if you work hard, you will succeed in the United States,” against only 44 percent of blacks. Meanwhile, a comfortable majority of blacks ? 71 percent ? strongly agreed that “the criminal justice system in the United States favors the rich and powerful,” against 45 percent of Hispanics and 27 percent of Asians.

Moreover, the three groups trust whites more than the other two minority groups. The poll found that 61 percent of Hispanics, 54 percent of Asians and 47 percent of blacks would prefer to do business with whites than the other two groups. In all three cases, most of those who didn’t specify whites said they had no preference.

The multilingual phone poll of 1,105 blacks and various Asian and Hispanic national groups was conducted in August and September. Respondents all lived in areas where their minority group made up at least 10 percent of the population. The margin of error was five percentage points.

Still, there was common ground between the three groups on other issues, and not all the opinions widely held about the other two groups were negative ones……

To read entire article click here.

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CTV

TORONTO — Canada’s three largest cities are struggling to cope with a flood of newcomers primarily from China, India, the Philippines and Pakistan as immigration approaches levels not seen since the end of the “Great Migration.”

Statistics Canada said Tuesday that 69 per cent of recent immigrants to Canada resided in the “magnet” or “gateway” cities of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver — dubbed MTV — in 2006. That’s down from 73 per cent in 2001 and 74 per cent in 1996.

Still, 97 per cent of all immigrants in the last five years ended up in large urban areas.

The flood of immigrants has resulted in the kind of vibrant, diversification celebrated as the essence of Canadian multiculturalism. But it has also created a nation of two solitudes: declining rural populations at the same time as bulging big cities struggle to provide services newcomers rely on.

Despite the enormous social, political and economic ramifications of immigration — forecast to be the single source of population growth in Canada within 30 years — public and political discourse on the subject seems muted.

“Canadians, according to surveys, think that there may be some major problems with immigration but they’re constantly told that we need it anyway,” said Martin Collacott, a former Canadian ambassador and now senior fellow with the Fraser Institute in Vancouver.

“You don’t really question immigration because you’ll be a racist if you do.”

Debatable policy issues include the number of immigrants Canada accepts along with the hundreds of millions of dollars spent each year helping them settle. There are also the issues of what kind of immigrant is allowed to enter — family class or skilled, for example, as well as where they should settle.

For politicians competing for the “ethnic” vote in a country built on immigrants, those are thorny questions some would rather leave untouched.

Read more.

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Nation confronted by issues that may lead to its downfall

Saulk Valley

That may sound extreme, even apocalyptic, until one considers his assertions: ‘The Army is breaking and is too small to meet America’s global commitments; the dollar has sunk to historic lows and is being abandoned by foreign governments’; and perhaps most controversial of all - ‘the greatest invasion in history, from the Third World, is swamping the ethno-cultural core of the country, leading to Balkanization and the loss of the Southwest to Mexico.’

There’s plenty more, but to this last point first. No nation can survive without passing its heritage, language and, yes, faith to the next generation. A country must be built on something substantial and if the cultural elitists think it can be built on ‘diversity,’ that is a foundation of shifting sand.

We have moved beyond importing foreigners to mow our yards and build our homes. The political parties are now importing votes, cynically signing up new ‘Americans’ as rapidly as possible before the next election. Let the devil take tomorrow and even the country; help me make it through my election, or re-election.

Read more.

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Star Telegram

Washington, DC — Half of the nearly 3.5 million immigrants living in Texas are in the country illegally, according to a report scheduled for release today by the Center for Immigration Studies.

Using the latest Census Bureau data, the center found that Texas has one of the fastest-growing immigrant populations of any state and that 50 percent of the state’s foreign-born population — slightly more than 1.7 million people — are illegal immigrants.

Only Arizona at 65 percent, North Carolina at 58 percent and Georgia at 53 percent had a higher proportion of illegal immigrants in their immigrant populations.

NJ.com

Historians call it the Golden Age of Immigration: the early 1900s, when thousands arrived each day at Ellis Island, pushing New Jersey’s foreign-born population to more than one-fourth of all residents.

But a massive new wave of immigrants that began in the 1980s, already far larger in sheer numbers than the heyday of Ellis Island, may soon eclipse that percentage, according to a report released today.

New Jersey’s foreign-born population is 21.6 percent, according to the study by the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington think tank that lobbies for lower immigration levels. And as growing numbers of U.S.-born New Jerseyans move away, the share of immigrants in the state is rapidly approaching the all-time high of 26 percent, reached in 1910.

In New Jersey and nationwide, the report found, the past seven years have been the historic pinnacle of immigration, with 1.5 million people arriving in the United States legally or illegally each year. New Jersey’s foreign-born population now stands at 1.87 million.

‘Some people argue there’s been a crackdown on illegal immigration and legal immigration is harder,’ said Steve Camarota, the center’s research director and author of the study. ‘The anecdotes may be true on their own, but they belie what we’ve seen in the data.’

USA Today

The study, an analysis of 2007 Census data, concludes that there are 37.9 million foreign-born residents in the USA. It estimates that at least 11.3 million of those immigrants are in the country illegally.

One of the key findings is that 31% of immigrant adults don’t have a high school diploma, compared with 8% of U.S.-born residents.

That is important, Camarota says, because it correlates with high rates of welfare and poverty: 33% of households headed by immigrants use at least one major welfare program such as the Women, Infants and Children nutrition program, compared with 19% of U.S.-born households. “It costs a lot of money,” he says. “Does it make sense to bring in lots of people who don’t have lots of education?”

WASHINGTON (November 29, 2007) ? A new report by the Center for Immigration Studies examines the size, growth, and characteristics of the nation?s immigrant, or foreign-born, population as of March 2007. The reported provides a detailed picture of overall immigrant population, and of the illegal immigrant population specifically.

The report, ?Immigrants in the United States, 2007: A Profile of America?s Foreign-Born Population,? is online at CIS.

Among the report?s findings:

# The immigrant population (legal and illegal) reached a record of 37.9 million in 2007.

# Immigrants account for one in eight U.S. residents, the highest level in 80 years.

# Overall, nearly one in three immigrants is an illegal alien. Half of Mexican and Central American immigrants and one-third of South American immigrants are illegal.

# Since 2000, 10.3 million immigrants have arrived ? the highest seven-year period of immigration in U.S. history. More than half of post-2000 arrivals (5.6 million) are estimated to be illegal aliens.

# Of adult immigrants, 31 percent have not completed high school, compared to 8 percent of natives. The share of immigrants and natives with a college degree is about the same.

# 33 percent of immigrant-headed households use at least one welfare program, compared to 19 percent for native households. Among households headed by immigrants from Mexico, the largest single group, 51 percent use at least one welfare program.

# The poverty rate for immigrants and their U.S.-born children (under 18) is 17 percent, nearly 50 percent higher than the rate for natives and their children.

# 34 percent of immigrants lack health insurance, compared to 13 percent of natives. Immigrants and their U.S.-born children account for 71 percent of the increase in the uninsured since 1989.

# The primary reason for the high rates of immigrant poverty, lack of health insurance, and welfare use is their low education levels, not their legal status or an unwillingness to work.

# Of immigrant households, 82 percent have at least one worker, compared to 73 percent of native households.

# Immigrants make significant progress over time. But even those who have been here for 20 years are more likely to be in poverty, lack insurance, or use welfare than are natives.

# There is a worker present in 78 percent of immigrant households using at least one welfare program.

# Immigration accounts for virtually all of the national increase in public school enrollment over the last two decades. In 2007, there were 10.8 million school-age children from immigrant families in the United States.

# Immigrants and natives have similar rates of entrepreneurship ? 13 percent of natives and 11 percent of immigrants are self-employed.

# Recent immigration has had no significant impact on the nation?s age structure. Without the 10.3 million post-2000 immigrants, the average age in America would be virtually unchanged at 36.5 years.

# Detailed information is provided for Texas, California, Arizona, Massachusetts, Colorado, Georgia, North Carolina, Washington, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, Virginia, and Maryland.

Data Source: The Current Population Survey provides the data for the study. It was collected by the Census Bureau in March 2007 and has not been fully analyzed until now. There is agreement among policy experts, including the Department of Homeland Security, that roughly 90 percent of illegal immigrants respond to Census Bureau surveys of this kind. This allows for separate estimates of the size and characteristics of the illegal immigrant population.

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The boy maintains that he never said it (”Brown people)”; that the words were put in his mouth by the parent who questioned him. That parent happens to be the mother of the student with whom he is having a conflict?and she happens to work for Abraham Lincoln as a detention-room officer.

The tape indicates that rather than just spouting off with racial invective, the boy was asked first why he didn’t want to cooperate with brown people by the parent/school official.

In court, this might be called entrapment. Not to mention a conflict of interest.

AZ Central

A Glendale elementary school principal has admitted to telling a 9-year old boy that it is OK to have racist feelings as long as you keep them to yourself.

?As we said to (the boy) when he was in here, in your heart you may have that feeling, and that is OK if that is your personal belief,? Abraham Lincoln Traditional School Principal Virginia Voinovich said in a tape-recorded parent-teacher conference.

The boy was suspended for three days this month for allegedly committing a ?hate crime? by using the expression ?brown people.?

In an interview Monday, Voinovich would not address her comments, first saying she didn’t remember the incident, then demanding a copy of the recording and finally insisting that she could not talk about a student’s discipline.

The circumstances of the boy?s suspension itself raise troubling questions about student discipline, interrogation and oversight at Abraham Lincoln.

According to school officials, the boy made a statement about ?brown people? to another elementary student with whom he was having a conflict. They maintain it was his second offense using the phrase.

But the tape recording indicates this only came out after another parent was allowed to question the boy and elicited from him the statement that he ?doesn’t cooperate with brown people.?

After that was reported to the boy’s teacher, he was made to stand in front of his class and publicly confess what he’d said.

The boy maintains that he never said it; that the words were put in his mouth by the parent who questioned him. That parent happens to be the mother of the student with whom he is having a conflict?and she happens to work for Abraham Lincoln as a detention-room officer.

The tape indicates that rather than just spouting off with racial invective, the boy was asked first why he didn’t want to cooperate with brown people by the parent/school official.

In court, this might be called entrapment. Not to mention a conflict of interest.

Officials at the Washington Elementary School District, who are supposed to oversee Voinovich, wouldn’t comment about the boy?s suspension. They said only the principal is qualified to talk about it.

Well, the boy?s mother is talking, and she is angry. She has also removed her son from the school.

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Associated Press

VILLIERS-LE-BEL, France ? Rampaging youths rioted for a second night in Paris’ suburbs, firing at officers and ramming burning cars into buildings. At least 80 officers were injured, a senior police union official said Tuesday.

The overnight violence was more intense than during the three weeks of rioting in 2005, said the official, Patrice Ribeiro. He said “genuine urban guerrillas with conventional weapons and hunting weapons” were among the rioters.

On Monday night, youths were seen firing buckshot at police and reporters. About 30 of 82 injured officers were hit by buckshot, Ribeiro told The Associated Press. Rioters also hurled stones and Molotov cocktails at police, authorities said.

Police made six arrests, authorities said.

Youths, many of them Arab and black children of immigrants, again appeared to be lashing out at police and other targets seen to represent a French establishment they feel has left them behind.

“Police officers were targeted with hunting weapons; a certain number of them were wounded by lead shot,” said Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie. “This is totally unacceptable,” she said, adding there were six serious injuries, “people who notably were struck in the face and close to the eyes.”


Muslim Goons

The use of firearms added a dangerous new dimension to the rioting. Firearms are widespread in France, and police generally carry guns. Such weapons, though, were rarely used in the 2005 riots that spread to poor housing projects nationwide.

The current riots were triggered by the deaths of two teens killed in a crash with a police patrol car on Sunday in Villiers-le-Bel, a blue-collar town in Paris’ northern suburbs.

Residents claimed that officers left the crash scene without helping the teens, whose motorbike collided with the car. Officials cast doubt on the claim, but the internal police oversight agency was investigating.

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Oh the bliss of limitless unchecked immigration rears it’s ugly head once again. GuardDog

Case focuses on African immigrants’ use of monkey meat
CNN
November 25, 2007

* Story Highlights
* African immigrant charged with meat smuggling
* Federal inspectors at JFK Airport find hidden monkey meat in 2006 shipment
* She says monkey meat was critical to her baptism and religious upbringing
* “We eat bushmeat,” woman’s supporters said, “for our souls”


Family members sit with a portrait of Mamie Manneh
at their home in Staten Island, New York.

NEW YORK (AP) — From her baptism in Liberia to Christmas years later in her adopted New York City, Mamie Manneh never lost the longing to celebrate religious rituals by eating monkey meat.

Now, the tribal customs of Manneh and other West African immigrants have become the focus of an unusual criminal case charging her with meat smuggling, and touching on issues of religious freedom, infectious diseases and wildlife preservation.

The case “appears to be the first of its kind relating to that uniquely African product,” defense attorney Jan Rostal wrote in a pending motion to dismiss. “Unfortunately, it represents the sort of clash of cultural and religious values inherent in the melting pot that is America.”

At the center of the case in federal court is a modest woman with nine children and a history of domestic discord.

The case dates to early 2006, when federal inspectors at JFK Airport examined a shipment of 12 cardboard boxes from Guinea.

They were addressed to Manneh and, according to a flight manifest, contained African dresses and smoked fish with a value of $780.

Instead, stashed underneath the smoked fish, the inspectors found what West Africans refer to as bushmeat: “skulls, limbs and torsos of nonhuman primate species” plus the hoof and leg of a small antelope, according to court papers.

Three days later, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agents were at Manneh’s door, where she told them she ran a smoked fish importing business.

According to the agents, she initially denied ordering any bushmeat from Africa or ever eating it while in the United States.

But after she consented to a search, the agents came across a tiny, hairy arm hidden in her garage.

“Monkey,” she explained, claiming the arm was sent to her out of the blue “as a gift from God in heaven.”

Federal prosecutors hit Manneh with smuggling charges that accused her of violating import procedures and suggested she was a menace to man and beast alike.

A criminal complaint cited evidence that the illegal importation of bushmeat encourages the slaughter of protected wild animals.

More ominously, the complaint warned of “the potential health risks to humans linking bushmeat to diseases like Lassa fever, Ebola, HIV, SARS and monkeypox.”…..

To read entire article click here.

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According to the BBC, they are just “youths.” It’s kind of like how the press here calls illegal aliens, immigrants.

BBC

Dozens of youths clashed with police and set fire to buildings, injuring a number of police officers and firefighters.

The unrest is taking place in the suburb of Villiers-le-Bel, and neighbouring Arnouville.

In 2005, the deaths of two youths in nearby Clichy-sous-Bois led to France’s worst civil unrest in over 40 years.

The two teenagers - aged 15 and 16 - were killed when the stolen motorcycle they were driving collided with a police car.

The teenagers were not being chased by police at the time of the accident, a police source told the Reuters news agency.

Burning cars

After the accident, looting broke out and the police station in Villiers-le-Bel was set on fire, as was a local petrol station.

Riot police were sent to the area, but youths blocked their way with burning cars.

A number of police officers sustained injuries, and at least seven youths were arrested.

Omar Sehhouli, the brother of one of the dead teenagers said that the rioting “was not violence but an expression of rage”.

Correspondents say the scenes are reminiscent of the country-wide riots in 2005, triggered when two teenagers from another Parisian suburb - Clichy-sous-Bois - were electrocuted in an electricity sub-station where they had hidden in an attempt to escape from chasing police.

More here:

Fires are raging in the banlieue tonight. Two boys aged 15 and 16 riding on a mini-motorcycle (prohibited on the road) hit a police car this afternoon in Villiers-le-Bel. The boys, who weren?t wearing helmets, were killed. Hundreds of enraged men and boys are tearing up the neighborhood.

Le Parisien reports that they burned down a Peugeot dealership, sacked a train station and shops, tore up a McDonald?s, stole the day?s receipts and attacked customers, smashed and burned cars, and are still going strong. A police commissioner who tried to talk to the mob was attacked with iron rods; his face and skull are fractured. A police station was burned down, seven policemen were injured.

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?I have an uncle who has like five kids with different girls,? she said. ?So it doesn?t surprise me at all.? No marriage doesn?t mean no care, said Nancy Rodriguez, 17, a senior at Crossroads Alternative School.

?Us, as Mexicans, we take the responsibility of having the child even if we don?t have the partner,? she said.

NWA News

ROGERS ? Nearly half of the babies delivered by Hispanic mothers in Benton County last year were born out of wedlock.

That was double the rate for white, non-Hispanic mothers in the county.

The statistics mirror national trends that have the attention of advocates of all persuasions.

Immigration critics warn of looming consequences, from persistent poverty to welfare dependency.

Of the 845 babies delivered by Hispanic mothers in Benton County last year, 412 ? 49 percent ? were born to unwed mothers, according to the Arkansas Department of Health. The percentage mirrors the U. S. rate of 48 percent for Hispanics.

Amid such a broad-based shift, and an emotionally charged debate over immigration, some religious and community leaders were reluctant to discuss out-of-wedlock His- panic births in Benton County, where an estimated 27, 000 Hispanics make up 13 percent of the population. For instance, a spokesman for St. Raphael Catholic Church, home to one of Northwest Arkansas? largest Hispanic congregations, said the Springdale church ministers to people regardless of marital status and had nothing to say about births outside of marriage.

SUPPORTIVE PARENTS ?I kind of wanted a baby,? said Jennifer Bonilla, 16, a student at the Rogers School District?s Crossroads Alternative School.

?I was like, I?m too young. But it happened. I was happy when I found out,? she said.

Bonilla is one of three mothers among the school?s 60 students. All three are Hispanic.

As with the others, Bonilla lives with her parents. The father of her baby is a construction worker, she said, and helps with money and chores such as taking the year-old baby, Juan Carlos, to a neighbor for babysitting during the day. Bonilla said she and the father plan to marry once she graduates from high school.
……….
Was she surprised that nearly half of Hispanic babies in America are born outside of marriage?

?I have an uncle who has like five kids with different girls,? she said. ?So it doesn?t surprise me at all.? No marriage doesn?t mean no care, said Nancy Rodriguez, 17, a senior at Crossroads Alternative School.

?Us, as Mexicans, we take the responsibility of having the child even if we don?t have the partner,? she said.

Rodriguez, the mother of an 18-month-old daughter, said the father of her baby has returned to Mexico, and they have no plans to marry. But her family fills the gap.

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LA Times

State schools Supt. Jack O’Connell hosted a summit in Sacramento last week of 4,000 educators, policymakers and experts. He asked them to confront California’s “racial achievement gap” — the persistently lower test scores of California’s African American and Latino public school students compared with their white and Asian peers. In 125 packed sessions, participants probed causes of the gap and offered strategies to close it. O’Connell asked them to “honestly and courageously face this pernicious problem,” and for two days, the capital was abuzz with ideas, energy and even some hope.

Strikingly, the state’s other “achievement gap” was barely mentioned at the summit; this is the gap between California and the rest of the nation.

The most recent results from the National Assessment of Education Progress test (popularly known as “the nation’s report card”) place California’s fourth- and eighth-graders below those in nearly every other state in math and reading achievement. (Although California’s math scores have improved over the last decade, so have the scores in the rest of the country.)

This national achievement gap affects students across the state regardless of their race. If we don’t address both the racial and national achievement gaps, it’s hard to imagine solving either one

For example, for years, people have been describing and lamenting California’s general decline in education. We’ve all heard it. Test scores of California’s Latino and African American students are, on average, among the lowest in the country. However, white students don’t do well either, and by a wide margin: California’s white eighth-graders score below white eighth-graders in every state but West Virginia and Nevada on the NAEP reading test.

In other subjects and at other grades, California’s white students score below white students in most other states.

Is there a problem with California’s white students? Do they or their parents care less about education than white students in Connecticut or Iowa? No one asks these questions about white students. Yet many people have no qualms about offering “culture” or “family background” as the main reason for the underperformance of Latino and African American students.

Let me answer that question for you. White students are being dragged down by classrooms filled with under performing illegal alien children and anchor babies.

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Chicago Tribune

For that small, but apparently growing segment of Mexican invaders who raise chickens in the back yard, the news Tuesday decidedly was not good: your goose is just about cooked.

The City Council’s Health Committee advanced a proposal to outlaw the keeping of hens and roosters in residential areas, and the measure is expected to become law at next month’s council meeting.

Ald. Lona Lane (18th), lead sponsor of the proposed prohibition, said she knows of three recent cases of chicken-keeping in her Southwest Side ward, none of them pleasant.

People “are leaving them in their back yards and feeding them in the back yards,” Lane said. “The stench and the smell from their feathers and their bodies - and they are not clean … Their debris and their waste are creating more rodents than there already are in neighborhoods.”

Not only that, Lane said. A woman in her ward told her about what went on in a house, now boarded up, on West 83rd Street.

“They were doing this ritual where they would take the chicken and cut the head off. The chicken was running around without a head in their home, and they would smear the blood.”

Ald. Joann Thompson (16th) said she was driving down the street in her ward a few months ago when she was surprised to spot a rooster, which she found out was someone’s pet.

“I said, ‘If it’s your pet, get it and take it in the house,’” Thompson said. “They couldn’t even catch the rooster. They were scared to take it back to the house.”

Chicken-keeping “is more common than you would think,” said Ald. George Cardenas (12th). In parts of his ward, immigrants from rural areas of Mexico keep the birds, he said.

Maria Rolon used to keep two chickens and two roosters in her Little Village back yard because they reminded her of Puerto Rico. “The chickens sang,” Rolon said through a translator. “It made you feel like you were in the countryside.”

But Rolon said she gave her chickens away months ago after the garbage collectors threatened to report her. A pair of the birds went to her uncle - who ate them.

Chicken reports have come in from all areas of the city, not just those where new arrivals live, according to the city’s Animal Care and Control Commission.

So far this year, the commission has gotten 717 gripes about roosters and their loud crowing and an additional 65 general “nuisance complaints about chickens,” reported Anne Kent, the commission’s executive director.

Ellen Clark, an animal control officer, said she “got 10 [calls] last night.”

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Newsday.com

New Haven, CT (AP) — Five Spanish-speaking immigrants have filed a federal lawsuit challenging a requirement that workers only speak English on the job at a Deep River machine shop.

The five, who are in this country legally, have filed a discrimination suit against

GC Industries, a company that makes and finishes sheet metal.

At GC Industries a ‘Common Language Policy’ posted on the bulletin board requires employees to speak English during work hours, except during breaks and lunch. The company notice cites safety, product quality and efficiency.

Policies dictating English in the workplace may be legal if a company can show a legitimate safety or business reason, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

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Discord roils L.A. Unified parent panel
Acrimony with racial overtones has plagued the advisory council. The key issue: whether meetings in Spanish should be allowed.
LA Times
November 10, 2007

For months, parents on a Los Angeles Unified School District advisory council have disagreed over whether their meetings should be conducted in Spanish or English. Such arguments became so abusive that district officials canceled meetings for two months and brought in dispute-resolution specialists and mental-health counselors.

But Friday morning’s gathering of the District Advisory Council proved dysfunctional in any language.

By one vote, parents censured their own chairman for alleged bad behavior, leading to a walkout of most Spanish-speakers. The rebuked chairman, Roberto Fonseca, followed them out of the room. Most voting for the censure were African American, adding racial overtones to the back-and-forth hectoring.

Friday’s dispute, at the district’s downtown Parent Community Services Branch, was the latest in a year of acrimony at the council, which was elected by parents at schools throughout the district. They offer advice on — and oversight of — the expenditure of $385 million on federally funded programs for students from poor families.

The goings-on raise another round of questions about parent participation in the nation’s second-largest school system, which has been repeatedly criticized by auditors for inconsistent and ineffective parent involvement and outreach. Critics say the district rarely seeks true parental input and instead uses parents to rubber-stamp budgets and programs. District officials insist they are determined to change this perception and are making progress.

Friday’s chaos had been building since February, when Fonseca, who is bilingual, started to give his chairman’s report in Spanish. Some in the audience objected; arguments and recriminations ensued, and school police rushed over amid concerns that a fistfight would break out, witnesses said.

Police have been present ever since, and on Friday, they escorted several parents outside for what one administrator termed a “timeout.”

After the February dispute over language, the district canceled March and April meetings, using the time to develop a Code of Civility, which reads almost like the rules in some classrooms: “Treat one another with respect, without ridicule or criticism. . . . Listen attentively while others are speaking. . . . Under no circumstances, threaten or engage in any verbal or physical attack on another individual.”

There was some resistance to this code, because parents had not approved it themselves, district staff said.

When meetings resumed, parents set up a bylaws subcommittee to take on language and other matters. The current bylaws stipulate that parent meetings across the district must be held in English. A school-district lawyer, however, concluded that this rule is illegal and impractical. Many parents serving on local school councils don’t speak English. Some meetings consist entirely of Spanish-speakers in a district where more than 266,000 students (and probably many more parents) are English-learners out of a student population of about 694,000.

The bylaws committee never completed its full review but had tentatively decided to leave the English rule in place. District staff, in turn, notified schools and offices that the English rule would not be enforced.

When participants on the advisory council aren’t at odds, meetings can be a model of bilingualism. When someone speaks in Spanish, English speakers put translation headsets to their ears and vice versa. And many Latino participants do speak English. The council united to oppose a recent cut in district translation services, a position that Fonseca politely announced to the Board of Education……

To read entire article click here.

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Nearly 150 involved in fight that students blame on feud between rival gangs.

NJ.com

A fight outside Lakewood High School yesterday morning escalated into a full-scale riot inside the building, where nearly 150 students attacked each other, innocent bystanders and even police.

The first officers to respond to the scene were set upon by combatants and needed to call in backup from several surrounding towns. Students said the fight was precipitated by rival black and Hispanic gangs, who had been sparring in recent days.

At its height, the melee featured random attacks on bystanders, students throwing chairs and tables and some officers pinned to the ground.

Police in full riot gear and using pepper spray and dogs finally got things under control after about 20 minutes. Worried parents summoned to the school by cell phone calls from their children found it in a state of siege, and some were arrested when they refused to obey orders from police.

“It was a riot,” Fred Anderson, 16, said after his mother took him out of school early. “It was everybody for yourself.”

By the time the fracas was over, about a dozen students and adults were arrested, including two “intruders” who instigated the brawl around 10:45 a.m. in a parking lot outside the lunchroom, police and school officials said.

The most serious injury was a student who needed stitches for facial injuries, officials said. Some police officers also were hurt, but none seriously, Deputy Police Chief Charles Smith said.

The school was placed in lockdown for about an hour as fighting raged and police conducted mop-up operations. The school remained open, although many parents pulled their children out early. Officials said school would open this morning and warned students to carry their ID cards.

Police were still sorting out what prompted the initial fight, but they and others said it was related to at least one after-school fight last week that contributed to an incident at a party over the weekend.

Ten Lakewood police officers who responded to the initial call of a fight at the Ocean County school were almost immediately overwhelmed by the number of fighting students and called for backup after they were attacked, said Smith.

Read more.

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FOX news

The Los Angeles Unified School District, which serves about 700,000 students, is embroiled in a nasty debate about whether meetings of a district advisory board should be conducted in English or Spanish.

I don’t have a child in the school district, but let me say this as clearly as I can for the activists wanting to conduct meetings in anything but English: Yo quiero Ingles, por favor.

For the rest of you: I want English, please.

One parent said it was racist to demand people who come to America speak English. I think not.

What’s really odd about this debate out in L.A. for many of us is that it is not the usual clash between Anglo-nativists and newly arrived Hispanic invaders. Instead this is a battle which pits African-Americans against newly arrived Hispanic invaders. The African-Americans think they are getting ripped off if a key advisory council to the school district is conducting business â?? dividing up federal money in many cases â?? in a language they cannot understand.

Some African-American parents have kids in these schools who are underachieving and want to see federal money spent equitably on their children as well as Hispanic children, and they are the ones who are feeling abused if the debates over millions in federal money are conducted in the language of the newcomers.

Nothing against the immigrant parents who want their children properly served by the L.A. school district, but the African-American parents have a point most Americans support: This is an English-speaking country when it comes to official business, and English speakers should not be excluded from participation in school district business because they have not picked up Spanish fast enough.

Their position seems to be: Welcome to America. We speak English. We have classes for everybody to learn English, but that’s as far as we’ll go.

Seems fair to me.

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