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Principal Sparks Discriminatory Actions Against School
On November 12, 2013, Principal Amy Lacey of Hempstead Middle School announced over the intercom that speaking Spanish was banned at the school.
The incident happened at Hempstead, Texas, a town of about 6,000 with more than 50 percent of the school enrollment students being Hispanic. Lacey was soon put on leave as the school board discussed what to do on the matter. During this time the students were so scared they dared not speak a word of Spanish in fear of getting punished.
Tiffani Resurez, an eighth grader, reported that a teacher said he would write them up if they spoke Spanish. The students soon came to believe because of Lacey’s actions it gave the school a green light to discriminate against the Hispanic community.
The school board “chose not to renew the contract of Amy Lacey” (Newser). However, just because Lacey was placed on leave and then had her contract refused for renewal, the targeting at the school did not end. In the time since Lacey was removed, the superintendent has found her yard vandalized and believed that people were taking photos of her house and going through her trash.
Other reports said that it was “discovered that the brakes of three school buses had been damaged. Whoever did it also left a dead cat carcass, possibly as a message. One of the buses had an obviously severed brake line. The other two — which continued to carry kids — were eventually found to have finely nicked brake lines” (Yahoo News).
Evidence so far hasn’t revealed if there was a connection between Lacey’s removal and the incidents surrounding the school. These sabotages have led to the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund and other Hispanic rights groups to request an investigation by the Department of Justice and the FBI.
Discrimination is hurtful and ignorant but its effects reach new levels once the lives of innocent people are put in danger. Actions need to be taken to stop these discriminatory terrorists before someone is seriously injured or killed.
While it remains unknown if Lacey is connected to these events it cannot be denied she was the spark that lit the fuse. The spread of this news probably led to other discriminatory and/or disturbed individuals out there to use her words as an excuse to commit atrocious acts. Schools are meant to be places of safety and education, and sadly, the acts of a few narrow minded individuals are turning Hempstead Middle School into just the opposite.