Perhaps I shouldn't be surprised by each new example of bigotry that emerges from some small-town school board, but the proposal by school officials in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana to require that only English be spoken during commencement speeches strikes me as particularly small-minded and spiteful:
As Bill Poser of Language Log aptly puts it:
Cindy Vo, the daughter of Vietnamese immigrants, spoke of high-school memories, friends and the future. Then she recited a sentence in Vietnamese, dedicated to her parents as they looked on. "Co len minh khong bang ai, co suon khong ai bang minh," she said into the microphone.
The 18-year-old graduate told classmates that the line, roughly translated, was a command to always be your own person.
Secondary education supervisor David Bourg is forming a committee of educators to study the graduations at the four high schools and eventually make recommendations to the board. Officials are considering other proposals, including requiring a prayer during the ceremony.
"As board members, we get to observe the different ceremonies and there's some inconsistencies I think the board or administration more importantly needs to address," board member Rickie Pitre recently said in committee. "I don't like them addressing in a foreign language. They should be in English."
English-only advocates like to claim that immigrants refuse to learn English. Here are two kids of immigrant parents who have learned English well enough to be valedictorians and this jackass wants to rain on their parade? For shame! Why is it that school boards attract idiots like shit attracts flies?