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Kids Kicked Off School Bus For Speaking English

From the local Minneapolis/St. Paul ABC affiliate KSTP:

Kids kicked off a bus for speaking English

01/10/2007

Imagine sending your kids off to school, but when they get to the bus they are told they can’t get on because they speak English.

That’s right, English.

It happened to a few children in St. Paul and now the school district is apologizing.

Rachel Armstrong sent her kids to pick up the bus as usual Monday, but after the driver let the kids on, he told them he would not pick them up again. He even said he wouldn’t take them home that afternoon.

Armstrong left work early Tuesday, forced to pick up her kids from Phalen Lake Elementary School.

Her twin girls, 10, and her son, 8, were kicked off their regular school bus. They were told by the bus driver the route is for non-English speaking students only.

"I was furious. I was at work and I was just mad." Armstrong said. "I felt like we were being discriminated because we speak English. Just because they speak English, they can’t ride the school bus. I mean, this is America, right?"

Administrators at St. Paul Public Schools admit the district made a mistake when it stranded the kids at school Monday.

However, the district points out, that particular bus route serves one of three language academies. The one at Phalen Lake is for Hmong students learning English.

The academies all have separate bus routes to keep its students together.

The district decided to enforce the separate routes beginning Monday, but it did not tell the Armstrong family.

"It is our responsibility to ensure the safety of these kids and we made a mistake. The kids should have gotten home that day," Dayna Kennedy, public relations representative.

The district also discovered the Armstrongs no longer live in the Phalen Lake School boundary because they moved last year.

So even though the district apologized, if they want to still go to Phalen, they are going to have to get their own ride.

We’ve asked this several times before lately. But what the heck is going on in Minnesota?

The one at Phalen Lake is for Hmong students learning English.

You would think that they would then want kids onboard who spoke English.

The district also discovered the Armstrongs no longer live in the Phalen Lake School boundary because they moved last year.

A telling point. But one wonders if all the Hmong students (and Hispanic ones) live in that district.

By the way, from the school’s own website the classes sound like they are more about teaching Hmong and Spanish than English:

Phalen Lake Elementary

About Us

Phalen Lake Elementary’s rigorous Core Knowledge academic program closely matches the Minnesota Academic Standards and is a school reform model described nationally as "gifted education for all." …

The new Hmong and Spanish World Language classes allow students to learn cultural knowledge while fostering respect for their own and other countries.

Which might explain why they don’t want English speakers polluting their Hmong-only busses.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, January 10th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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