Star Telegram

Grapevine — While the rest of her fifth-grade class was taking Spanish classes mandated by the Grapevine-Colleyville school district curriculum, Ashleigh Allison sat in the Timberline Elementary School library writing a report about France.

Ashleigh and her mother, Leigh Allison, say teaching elementary school Spanish only makes life easier for Hispanic immigrants in the community who do not learn or speak English. And Ashleigh shouldn’t be forced to conform, they say.

‘She wants to be that one voice that forces them to learn English,’ Allison said. ‘We’re not going to turn America into a bilingual country to accommodate you.’

Ashleigh said she knew the day that she enrolled at Timberline that she didn’t want to take the required Spanish classes.

“There was a lot of Spanish kids and not a lot of other kinds of kids,” she said.

Her mother said: “We were very much the minority. She couldn’t understand anybody and really felt isolated.”

The percentage of Hispanic students at Timberline has increased from 13 percent in 1996 to 54 percent of the school’s 706 students last school year.

At the beginning of November, Allison e-mailed the counselor saying she was “not interested” in Ashleigh’s taking Spanish. Timberline Principal Cody Spielmann replied that Spanish is required by the curriculum and that there were no other options.

“Ashleigh feels the course would be a waste of her time since she has no aspirations in the future to have a career requiring bilingual talents,” Allison wrote to the principal, “nor does she feel compelled to accommodate those who live in our country who refuse to learn the primary and current native tongue of English.”

Allison wanted her daughter to be allowed to study in the library or to take a different foreign language. Allison then appealed to district administrators but got the same response: Ashleigh had to go to class.

Allison kept her daughter out of Spanish class for three weeks, sending her to school an hour late twice a week with a note stating that she was absent because of a “moral objection” to the class.

At the end of December, Allison filed a grievance with the Grapevine-Colleyville school board. But in a pre-hearing meeting, she and Deputy Superintendent Jim Chadwell reached a compromise to allow Ashleigh to study in the library and write a report on a country of her choice.

She learned about the government and food of France and tried to teach herself some common French phrases, but without a teacher, the language is difficult to master. “I was kind of bored because there wasn’t anybody else there,” she said.

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19 Responses to “Mandatory Spanish Classes Angers Family”
  1. BEADALONG says:

    This is why teachers should lose tenure and should be nailed to the wall for their despicable behavior….Hey, while I’m at it, why bother having these teachers here at all when they’re doing their best to undermine us and our culture? Just fire them and replace them with teachers from Mexico and ensure that our traitor teachers never get a teaching job again.

  2. American_pride says:

    Mandatory spanish???!!! This is America where we speak English, but yet if anyone tries to enforce it, they are called racists.

  3. K2 says:

    Since when is a foreign language compulsory at elementary school? The education system teaches essential english at elementary elevel, then at secondary level, advanced english, plus the option of at least 2 foreign languages. At least that’s how it was under the non-communist education system… which is what existed prior to the adoption of gramscian philosophy, the 1985 US-USSR Education Act, the Clinton-Bush global community education programs, anyway. There is a zero tolerance for non-compliance in the American Soviet school system. This family had better assimilate into mexican culture doubleplusfast… the Gulag looms.

  4. Educated American says:

    As a teacher - and an English speaking American - I find this to be one of the most despicable stories I’ve ever heard concerning American schools. If I were a parent, I would raise holy hell about this. WHAT COUNTRY DO WE LIVE IN?!

    What language were the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights written in? Spanish? Korean? Tagalog? Finnish? NO! THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE!

    Beadalong: I agree with you. Not about teacher tenure. But the gutless, clueless, elementary school teachers that went along with it. Actually, your ire would be more productively focused on the educational beaurocrats, administrators, and collaborating teachers that created this insane curriculum in the first place. Manadatory Spanish? What are these people forecasting for the future?

  5. scorpiokat says:

    How can we have mandatory Spanish when we don’t even have mandatory English? If the American people don’t start standing up for our country, our beliefs and our culture, we will be just like Mexico. They keep pushing and we keep backing up - and we’re getting backed up into the sewer. We need to do what they do - group together - make a lot of noise - and act against the wrong. We have a right to stand up and shout. This is our country and we have a right - no a responsibility to speak up and act. If all the English speaking mothers got together and made enough noise, this would have stopped.

  6. seven_staarten says:

    #1: “Just fire them and replace them with teachers from Mexico and ensure that our traitor teachers never get a teaching job again.”

    Beads ~ welcome to my world:

    RECRUITING FROM MEXICO
    ‘there’s a big need for bilingual teachers in Texas that is not being met and they want to be part of the solution’
    http://blogs.chron.com/schoolz.....exico.html

    and, in related news …

    MARIACHI ADDED TO STATE UIL COMPETITIONS
    ‘Band members say the genre helps them connect to cultural history’
    http://www.chron.com/disp/stor.....87389.html

  7. NoYouCant says:

    “What are these people forecasting for the future?”

    A North American “Community”.

    Knowledge is power! Sometimes you have to step back and think about what’s best for your children. I think this woman should be encouraging her daughter to learn spanish. Knowing spanish won’t make this young girl un-American. Why not empower American, english speaking children? My daughters will learn spanish. I want them to swim and not sink.

  8. litew8 says:

    Not to sound like a jerk NoYouCant, but the reasoning you gave is the exact reason why it is not acceptable. To consider it a matter of survival to do something that should not be an option means that you are giving into the backward mentality. People that come to the United States should be obligated to learn our country’s language. That is English. We should not give other cultures an inch of appeasment. Then they will want a mile, and eventually, the tables are turned. It isn’t a matter of swimming versus sinking, but rather national pride and conviction - to insist that those that choose to come into our country to benifit themselves and their families adapt to OUR WAY OF LIFE, not the other way around.

  9. litew8 says:

    ^ That is why we have immigration LAW and POLICY.

  10. scorpiokat says:

    Our country is divided - our country is in chaos - our country is being overrun and overtaken by uninvited and illegal forces working against the American people to take our country and make it an extension of Mexico. This is no secret, they have screamed it at us, written it on posters and made it very clear. Why do some Americans help them to achieve their unlawful goal? When will some Americans understand that little by little they are subverting our laws and openly substituting their agenda? If you live in this country and call yourself an American, it is your responsibility to safeguard our laws and culture and never give in to demands that further the illegal cause. This school needs to be held accountable and the program eliminated. Any language other than English should be an elective - not a requirement. This is America and English is the National language.

  11. 1Madmomma says:

    Another demand! WTF! When will Americans stand together to get this craziness turned around. Hats off to both Mother, and Daughter for having the guts to do what many others should be doing, bucking up, and saying No! I guess it is easier for some to say “I want my children empowered”, than as to stand up and fight the cause. This is exactly why we are where we are at (LOSING OUR COUNTRY). Americans don’t have the balls to stand up for what is right. It is easier to sit back and say there is nothing I can do about it. The more we roll over for them, the more they feel free to tread all over us. They are getting away with it, and we have know one to blame other then ourselves, for not taking a stand. We have been told in advance that they are going to rally in our streets for their rights. We should in the future be there in at least twice the numbers. Calderon is coming to make more demands. HE WILL PROBABLY BE ABLE TO STROLL AROUND, MAKING DEMANDS ON OUR GOVERNMENT WITHOUT ANY OPPOSITION. He is not happy with the way Mexicans are being treated! They obviously get treated better here than in Mexico, or they wouldn’t be here. Dumb Ass! He isn’t smart enough to make any changes for the positive that would help HIS people there. But then, obviously they aren’t smart enough to figure that out either. We are up against a bunch of idiots, yet they are winning the fight. What does that say about us? HMMMM

  12. BEADALONG says:

    Thanks very much Seven_staarten and for the links. Boy, were they nauseating. What was that saying? “Don[t let the camel get its nose underneath the tent” or something like that? They just never quit and it keeps getting worse.

    Educated American, I agree with you on most of it. Yea, most of the blame does lie with the administrators and bureaucrats.

    I do have to say that for good teachers, we should pay them far better than we do now and they should be retained because they are good employees. As far as tenure, I don’t know about that. I don’t know of any other place that does this. I think if there are bad teachers, they shouldn’t get protection and should get booted out.

    I also have to say that I think this country’s values are really badly skewed when this nation practically worships sports and the entertainment world and yet pays teachers who are playing a large role in shaping our childrens’ lives and futures so poorly in comparison…To me, I think the teacher’s roles are much more important and should be treated as such.

    Yup, Litew8. If we give an inch, they will take a mile.

  13. BEADALONG says:

    Oops, that should be (Don’t).

  14. melody says:

    seven_staarten,
    Good link about the Houston-area education. Wow, some of the immigrant parents want to take their kids out of bilingual ed., but the school wont let them? This don’t look good. It seems like our government does not want these kids intergrated with American English speakers.

    At one of those agencies I have been to that helps or pretends to help people find jobs, I went to a workshop held by an immigrant who we had to listen very carefully to understand anything she said. “You want to make a copy of my birth certificate? Oh, you don’t want a copy of my certificate. Oh, you do.” I mean it was like that. She walked out of the room and we(all English only speakers) were asking each other what we thought she told us to do while she was gone for a minute. Nobody knew. She seems to be able to read, write and understand what she hears, but she needs speech therapy. She is paid to teach English as a second language to job seekers. I guess translaters don’t have to worry about losing their jobs.

  15. Educated American says:

    Oops, I booted the spelling of “bureaucrats”. Not so “Educated”, I guess.

    I’m still in my early years of teaching, so I’m not EXACTLY sure how teacher tenure works. But I will say that most of the teachers I know are generally qualified and dedicated.

    BUT -

    Sadly, public school teachers are not generally clued into things like the NAU, 9/11 questions, the War on Terror scam, the rise of fascism in this country, the bogus mainstream media and other issues posters like BEADALONG, Eddie B., and others have touched on in the past. Teachers are generally so busy that they don’t have time to spend researching all this stuff. As a sub, I have much more time to check into these issues. If teachers ARE somewhat “awake”, it is generally in terms of “if we can just get a Democrat into the White House, then things will get better”. That sort of old-line liberal worldview. There is also a great amount of fear about taking up really controversial positions as a contracted teacher. I mean discussing these things with fellow teachers. Bringing this stuff up with students is usually off-topic - not to mention VERY risky. (The JFK Assassination seems to be OK to open up now. It’s been almost 45 years, and accusations of “conspiracy” surrounding this event have entered the mainstream of American culture. Hell, even the standard California U.S. History textbook briefly mentions the topic of conspiracy theories floating around the JFK Assassination. Watergate and Iron-Contra are fair game, of course. Public disclosure occured in both cases.)

  16. scorpiokat says:

    “Teachers are not generally clued into things like the NAU,” etc because they’re too busy? What a sad excuse for letting our country go to hell, or to Mexico I should say. When the USA as we know it is in the toilet and tacos have replaced burgers, will those who are “too busy” sob and wonder how it happened? Complacency begets candidates like McCain and Clinton.

  17. melody says:

    I don’t understand how tenure works, but it seems like teachers enjoy job security almost anybody can only dream of. How many jobs can you show up for work, not do your full share of the work and keep your job for 30 or more years? Almost anybody in the “private sector” would go out of business. Why would teachers care about the new world order? They expect to be teachers in that order as well. It seems like a teacher would have to do something real stupid to lose his job like think he can date a 12 year old.

    If teachers really think they can do better going in business for themselves, what is stopping them? I think they are happy with their jobs. They just put on a show whining about what they are paid. Please, don’t they get all the major holidays off? They get holidays off almost nobody else gets. How many jobs do you have the option of not working when your kids are on summer vacation and chrismas vacation and spring break? When it comes time for a raise negotiation they can sure cry big crocodile tears. Gee, you would think they were living in red cross refugee tents the way they complain.

  18. BEADALONG says:

    Educated American, the teachers are probably very busy when they are working, but what about when they have the holidays or various vacations? There’s got to be a way to reach them and tell them these things are going on.

    On the other hand with the pay issue (where I’m at), I did know a couple of teachers who took on other jobs in retail when summer vacation was going on, but I don’t know if that’s the case with other teachers.

  19. BEADALONG says:

    I hope I didn’t lose you or anger you, Educated American on this topic.

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