by Daniel Cubias
As President Bush once famously asked, “Is our children learning?”
Well, in everybody’s favorite state — Arizona — the answer seems to be a resounding no… assuming, of course, that we’re talking about Latino kids.
Recently, during a legislative debate in Phoenix, a Republican state representative “stirred up gasps and anger” when she read a letter aloud from one of her constituents.
The letter writer, a substitute teacher named Tony Hill, claimed that he taught in a classroom where his students “were almost all Hispanic and a couple of Black children.” Hill wrote that the students boycotted the Pledge of Allegiance, called him a racist, refused to do their assignments, and even tore apart their textbooks.
Hill summarized his experience by writing that “Most of the Hispanic students do not want to be educated but rather be gang members and gangsters. They hate America and are determined to reclaim this area for Mexico.”
So how truthful was Hill’s letter? Well, the nearest thing to a follow-up investigation, from the Phoenix New Times, implies that Hill is “nothing but a student-hating liar.”
Arizona school officials said their investigation revealed nothing on the scale of the Lord of the Flies scenario that Hill portrayed. And the student essays, which according to Hill, “stated they were in the country illegally, [and] White Americans are racist,” said no such thing.
The Phoenix New Times opines that, “it appears that the only extremist in the class…was teaching the class.”
Now, is it possible that some students acted up because they had a sub? Of course it is. But according to Hill, the GOP politician who read his letter, and millions of other Arizona residents, it’s much worse that that.
Apparently, young Latinos in classrooms throughout the state are ditching school because all they really want to do is become “gang members and gangsters.” That is, when they are not actively plotting to turn Arizona over to Mexico, as they laugh in seditious glee while the shredded pages from their history books rain around them like confetti.
To be clear, the lower graduation rates and academic struggles of Hispanic kids are no myth. The reasons are complex, but most Americans are united in trying to improve the quality of Latino children’s education. In fact, substantial progress has been made in upping the numbers of Latinos who attend college.
But in Arizona, the implication is that the state should just give up, because Hispanics are congenitally unable to learn. Yes, in a perfect Arizona-centric world, we would concentrate only on born-and-raised citizens, whose families go back generations.
Of course, if we were doing such a bang-up job educating those citizens, it would seem that more of them could, I don’t know, name the vice president or something.
But I’m sure that’s somehow the fault of the Hispanic kids too.
To learn more about Daniel, visit Hispanic Fanatic.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those
of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.