Speak English–for your own good
June 13, 2012 9 Comments
The News & Record reported Wednesday that two organizations—Legal Aid of NC, and the Southern Poverty Law Center—have filed a “civil rights complaint” against Wake County Public Schools. The SPLC, it is important to note, is an extreme left-wing organization, which is notorious for branding as “hate speech” any language that questions the wisdom of progressive public policy. The SPLC has no credibility whatsoever, and its claims should be examined critically.
What, then, is the nature of the charge against Wake County Schools? “Discrimination against Latino students and their families.” Apparently, three students in the school system were given letters to take home to their parents, and the missives were “in English, even though their parents couldn’t read the documents…”
According to the article, Latinos are 15 percent of the Wake County Schools student population, “with about half of those children having limited proficiency in English.”
There are a couple of glaring issues here: First, if the parents are unable to read a letter in English (for whatever reason), the kids should be able to read it to them. But—here is the second glaring issue–half of the Latino students in question can’t read the letter, either. Why not?
Dozens of studies have demonstrated that immigrants who become fluent in English are far more likely to achieve financial success. If Wake County Schools were to send letters in Spanish to accommodate newcomers, the system would actually be diminishing the odds of linguistic acculturation; that is, Wake County would be facilitating the linguistic incompetence (and consequent economic failure) of its Latino students.
Immigrants who wish to succeed in American society must learn to speak English. Assimilation pays handsome dividends, in terms of economics and citizenship alike. In this case, for a change, the public schools did something right. In a day or two, of course, Wake County will apologize for the “offense.”
Charles Davenport Jr. is the editor of The Greensboro Guardian.