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Requiring school campuses to be English only?

Original post made by Pleasanton Parent, Pleasanton Meadows, on Oct 5, 2015

I know this will be controversial but I promise it comes more from a place of unity.

I pick my child up from school and in the chaos of pickup hear so many different dialects. It seems that this (and other influences I'm sure) have created pockets and discourage engagement between parents. It's exclusive to everyone around.

Added to this the complexity of what it does for the kids, some I'm sure speak English fluently at home, others I'm sure another language. I'm in full support of multi lingual families - it just seems divisive and counter educational to speak a language other than that used in the course of the day/education on campus.

And I would support a similar approach to the Spanish immersion program.

Comments (59)

Posted by Polly Glotte
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 6, 2015 at 7:21 am

There needs to be an actual good reason for such a rule, such as safety. In the absence of that, it's unnecessary and overbearing.


Posted by AP
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 6, 2015 at 11:01 am

Counter educational? I'm not sure I understand how you think this is happening. All the classes with the exception of Foreign language classes are taught in English. Would this requirement violate Free Speech? What about Sign Language? This isn't a new issue, just new for us in this geographical area. I remember visiting Boston years ago and hearing people in one particular neighborhood speaking in Italian. Not to mention San Fransisco, Los Angeles or New York. I understand it can feel uncomfortable standing among a group that is speaking another language but I don't think that affects the education process of our children.


Posted by Ann
a resident of Canyon Oaks
on Oct 6, 2015 at 1:29 pm

It's culturally enriching when American children hear other languages spoken. I know several families whose children speak Spanish, French, Italian, Hindi, Japanese, Cambodian, and various Chinese languages. I admire anybody that speaks another language. When today's children become adults, it will serve them well if they speak a second language.


Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 6, 2015 at 2:07 pm

Except for a foreign language class, all classes should be in English. To prevent hurt gossip-like cluster conversation, it should be English only on playground as well. Maybe there could be a monthly Chinese day, next month, Nordic languages, then Germanic another month.
Parents who think it's important enough to move here, should want their kids to learn to speak English. It's cruel of Mexican parents to watch only Univision, which keeps spouses and children, and relatives from learning English so they could then earn higher, more livable wages. It's ok for English speakers to learn the second language on Univision. However, in a Spanish speaking household, it keeps the whole family 'trapped'....by personal choice. As a taxpayer, I would like all to learn to elevate themselves to better incomes. I really dislike Univision, which allows people to take the 'easy' way, instead of wanting to better themselves.
Those who come to America and eagerly strive to 'become' Americanized, will enjoy more 'benefits' than they will without.


Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 6, 2015 at 2:15 pm

Ann, I agree - but this is not what is happening. Its not an encouraging exchange of cultural learning. Its isolation and further divide.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 6, 2015 at 2:57 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

I think this ignores the struggles of families just coming to the US or who haven't been here long enough to pick up English. Imagine moving to another country and trying to assimilate culture and language; no small feat. Besides, you are talking about after school pickups where parents are most likely comfortable speaking in their native language to their children. I find that perfectly understandable; it isn't about talking to you.

There are programs where schools make PTA, back to school nights, and parent educational experiences more welcoming to non-English speakers. And the students face extra challenges being in a new country, attending new schools, and trying to get good grades while still learning to speak, read, and write in a new language.

Seems to me if you want to feel included, you need to be inclusive. Why not introduce yourself?


Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 6, 2015 at 2:59 pm

The problem isn't that too many languages are spoken, the problem is that too few are. I'd like to see more foreign languages spoken on campus. Heck, my French teacher from middle schools years ago encouraged us to practice speaking French with each other outside of class. This was a good thing.


Posted by Billie
a resident of Mohr Park
on Oct 6, 2015 at 3:14 pm

"in the chaos of pickup [I] hear so many different dialects. It seems that this (and other influences I'm sure) have created pockets and discourage engagement between parents. It's exclusive to everyone around."

Change happens when one person has the courage to bridge the gap. As someone coming from a "place of unity", step out of your "pocket" of English-only speaking parents that undoubtedly exclude, intimidate and "discourage engagement" with those around them who are not part of their particular "pocket'.

Introduce yourself. Get to know the parents of the kids your kids go to school with who are not in your "pocket". You might be amazed at how much you and your kids, as well as those you *positively* interact with, can benefit.


Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 6, 2015 at 6:02 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Sixty-five years ago I was enrolled in a Catholic school.
All of the children were instructed not to speak their native language.

In place of our native language, we were force fed Latin, said to be the "universal language".

Today, sixty-five years later, English, Japanese, Chinese are the most common languages .

To this day I can still read Latin, speak it as I read. Other then that, I have never used the language after leaving school.


Posted by Paul
a resident of Canyon Creek
on Oct 6, 2015 at 6:05 pm

Above post spelling is wrong, it's spelled "other than that".


Posted by Paul
a resident of Canyon Creek
on Oct 6, 2015 at 6:09 pm

latin words Web Link


Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 6, 2015 at 6:32 pm

Well, it seems I'm in the minority on my thought, and I can accept that, times chang (or theven environment). I learned something different growing up - Spanish is OK in the home, English in public.


Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 6, 2015 at 6:34 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Paul:

"Besides for that"
"apart from that"

Please provide the correct grammar.


Posted by Lydia
a resident of Jensen Tract
on Oct 7, 2015 at 10:31 am

Speaking foreign languages divides people. My mother told me it is rude to whisper because it makes people feel left out or that someone is saying something unkind about them. Same effect when having a conversation in a foreign language.


Posted by Billie
a resident of Mohr Park
on Oct 7, 2015 at 11:11 am

"it is rude to whisper because it makes people feel left out or that someone is saying something unkind about them."

Same effect when that whispering is done in English.


Posted by Lydia
a resident of Jensen Tract
on Oct 7, 2015 at 11:37 am

Are you suggesting that it's rude to speak English?


Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 7, 2015 at 11:46 am

I think she was suggesting it was rude to whisper in English.


Posted by Billie
a resident of Mohr Park
on Oct 7, 2015 at 12:26 pm

BobB
Exactly!

Lydia
Interesting response! Are you suggesting that the *only* time "it is rude to whisper because it makes people feel left out or that someone is saying something unkind about them" is when it's done in a language other than English? Really? Does igpay atinlay count lol?




Posted by Lydia
a resident of Jensen Tract
on Oct 7, 2015 at 12:31 pm

Perhaps the analogy was missed.
Whispering is rude in any language it excludes people. So does speaking foreign languages.


Posted by chloe
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 7, 2015 at 4:55 pm

Is someone talking in a foreign language nearby you any more rude than someone texting near you? The person texting could be saying all kinds of unpleasant things about you.


Posted by Billie
a resident of Mohr Park
on Oct 8, 2015 at 11:46 am

Chloe,
Good one! Thanks for the laugh!

Rudeness aside, the whole "speak English only" debate has always baffled me. We are a nation of immigrants. Individually, and as a nation, it can only, as Ann said above, be "culturally enriching" to embrace our differences.

If we were to truly, as Sarah Palin says [lol], "speak American", I wonder which of the approximately 250 Native American languages should become the "American" one?
Web Link


Posted by Ed
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 8, 2015 at 12:40 pm

Birds of a feather flock together which is why folks from different countries/cultures stand around together while waiting for their kids,or in other public situations where multiple groups are together. Very common.

Also very common has been the fact that many immigrants feel more comfortable staying within their own culture, language and traditions rather than assimilating into the American mainstream. These days with the internet and ease of travel, it's easy to live and work here without having to give up the close ties of their home countries, so there is little reason to become "American".


Posted by Polly Glotte
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 8, 2015 at 1:41 pm

A melting pot of assimilation creates a gooey mass of mess. Think 'salad bowl' instead -- many distinct flavors contributing to a healthy and, ahem, diverse community of good tastes.


Posted by Ed
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 8, 2015 at 1:55 pm

A melting pot indeed, which makes life spicy. I get that.
But as people stay sheltered inside their own groups that are still tied to foreign contries, how many could be counted upon to join the US armed forces if needed and how many would just leave and go home?
How many salute our flag? And how many are just here to get what they can, while they can?
Sounds corny I know.


Posted by Billie
a resident of Mohr Park
on Oct 8, 2015 at 3:33 pm

Well, let me see. . .

Although not the first, nor the last, one of America's most shameful acts was the forced relocation and internment of more than 120,000 *American* men, women and children of Japanese descent into concentration camps. Most of those herded into the camps, allowed to take only what they could carry, were U.S. citizens or legal permanent resident aliens; half of them were children.

"These Japanese Americans . . .were incarcerated for up to 4 years, without due process of law or any factual basis, in bleak, remote camps surrounded by barbed wire and armed guards. They were forced to evacuate their homes and leave their jobs; in some cases family members were separated and put into different camps. President Roosevelt himself called the 10 facilities "concentration camps." Some Japanese Americans died in the camps due to inadequate medical care and the emotional stresses they encountered. Several were killed by military guards posted for allegedly resisting orders." Web Link

Of the more than 120,000 Americans interred in the camps 16,000 men and women *volunteered* for the segregated 442nd Regimental Combat Team serving in the European and Asian Pacific combat theaters. A total of 33,000 Japanese American men and women served in the armed forces during WWII. Over 800 were KIA serving their/our country. Web Link

These men and women served and died in the service of our nation, all while their families were being held in relocation camps under horrible conditions.

Funny thing is, in Hawaii, where Japanese Americans had been allowed to openly enjoy their language and culture, living side-by-side with native Hawaiians, there were no internment camps. In fact, "[w]hen the Army called for 1,500 volunteers, 10,000 turned up at recruiting offices." Web Link


Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 8, 2015 at 3:49 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

English was never spoken in America until the first English speaking foreigner showed up on the eastern shore around 1600.


Posted by Damon
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Oct 8, 2015 at 4:41 pm

@Ed: "A melting pot indeed, which makes life spicy. I get that. But as people stay sheltered inside their own groups that are still tied to foreign contries, how many could be counted upon to join the US armed forces if needed and how many would just leave and go home? How many salute our flag? And how many are just here to get what they can, while they can? Sounds corny I know."

Haven't done a head count, but I believe that many immigrant groups are well represented in the US military. I remember reading that one of the Navy SEALs who was killed in Afghanistan due to an RPG which hit a reinforcement helicopter of Navy SEALs a few years ago was a Korean-American. Of course, there is also the famous case of the late Japanese-American Senator Daniel Inouye, who lost his arm during an assault against a Nazi gun position in WWII:

"As his squad distracted the third machine gunner, Inouye crawled toward the final bunker, coming within 10 yards. As he raised himself up and cocked his arm to throw his last grenade, a German soldier inside the bunker fired a rifle grenade, which struck his right elbow, nearly severing most of his arm and leaving his primed grenade reflexively "clenched in a fist that suddenly didn't belong to me anymore". Inouye's horrified soldiers moved to his aid, but he shouted for them to keep back out of fear his severed fist would involuntarily relax and drop the grenade. While the German inside the bunker reloaded his rifle, Inouye pried the live grenade from his useless right hand and transferred it to his left. As the enemy soldier aimed his rifle at him, Inouye tossed the grenade into the bunker and destroyed it. He stumbled to his feet and continued forward, silencing the last German resistance with a one-handed burst from his Thompson before being wounded in the leg and tumbling unconscious to the bottom of the ridge. He awoke to see the worried men of his platoon hovering over him. His only comment before being carried away was to order them back to their positions, saying "nobody called off the war!" (Daniel Inouye, Wikipedia: Web Link

The bottom line is that there are many immigrants who have given their all for this country.


Posted by Ace
a resident of Canyon Oaks
on Oct 9, 2015 at 9:04 am

"discourage engagement between parents"...how hard is it to just go up to these parents and start a conversation with them?

"You are responsible for how you feel no matter what some one does to you. Remember, you are always in control of your thoughts so choose to feel confident and adequate rather than angry and insecure."-Robert Tew


Posted by Kevin
a resident of Del Prado
on Oct 9, 2015 at 9:47 pm

Try this: Go to some town near Hong Kong and bring your kid. Try to learn the language and try to adapt. Struggle in the supermarkets, struggle with everyday life, go to community college Chinese classes, try to get your kid to learn Chinese so s/he can fit in better. Do that for a few years.

Now, send your kid to school there and see if you don't end up talking to the handful of other American parents there in English.

Don't post this under the guise of unity. You want them to unite with what you value - you don't care one iota about what they value. If you did, maybe you'd actually try to break the ice yourself and say "ni hao", or "konnichiha" or "privyet" or something else to them. If you did that, you might be surprised how much you actually have in common.


Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 9, 2015 at 9:57 pm

Kevin,
Why do you assume I wouldn't prep my family for the change by learning the language and culture (as best I could) before I left?

Should I expect Hong Kong natives to engage me in my language?


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 9, 2015 at 10:43 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

"Should I expect Hong Kong natives to engage me in my language?" Of course, Americans do that all over the world. More importantly, it is being suggested you walk up to them and introduce yourself in English and take it from there. Maybe you learn a few words of their language and some of their culture before your move. Maybe you just make a new friend.


Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 10, 2015 at 12:29 am

It is no longer 1600. This is 2015, and English is taught or spoken in much of the world. Hispanics from several points South supposedly come here for greater economic opportunities. If that is the case, they would have greater economic success if effort was made to learn English. Listening to Mexican radio chatter and Univision TV will not help them learn English faster, thus acting as a roadblock to greater economic success. I tire of the 'poor' cry, when it is self-inflicted. Effort must be made to assimilate. Better economic opportunities will then come with better English skills. They need to exert some personal effort to expedite their own self-improvement. Hearing English is a step to becoming more fluent in English, thus opening more doors of opportunity. BTW Michael, in the 1600s, 1800s or first half of 1900s people were motivated to assimilated rapidly, because the 'politicians' were not passing out 'freebies' like we do today. When my Grandpa arrived from Sweden in 1900, government rightly, did not give him a dime. To 'ask' for a job they learned English quickly. ...a great motivator. If we didn't pass out free housing, food, school, medical, etc, etc, etc, they probably would find the English channels faster, instead of Univision....which holds them back from personal economic gain.


Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 10, 2015 at 12:44 am

America would likely not have become the leader of the world unless we all assimilated and worked together. Each 'individual' had to do their part, on their own, without government/ taxpayer assistance. Remember the 'government' couldn't have passed out freebies because in 1900 we had NOT even started 'income taxes' yet. NO income taxes, NO freebies. whata concept ! (except for a brief period for was expenses, then back to NO income taxes). Each person had pride and responsibility for themselves, like our founders planned. Now we breed poor and irresponsible...it's expected. The more we give, the more that's expected. No longer the 'greatest'.


Posted by To Kevin
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 10, 2015 at 1:25 am

We lived in HK. If you don't speak the language heaven help you at the public schools. You go private or learn the language. No one in public schools is bending over backwards to hold up the whole class of native speakers to help someone who doesn't speak the language. It's just the way it is. There's no birth right citizenship there either.


Posted by Erin
a resident of Mohr Park
on Oct 10, 2015 at 8:51 am

@pleasanton parent, of course you would prep yourself and your family if you moved to Hong Kong, the same way these people have. The children of these adults are speaking English in class and even on the playground. But, you are not a child and the truth is that it would be much more difficult for you to learn. It would be a constant struggle, not just the language but the cultural aspects. Even moving to another English speaking country is challenging, I know this from experience. If you were to run into to other Americans you would be relieved and happy to chat, knowing that they truly understood what you were trying to say and all of the nuances. To try to somehow regulate this and not allow people to do this while picking up their children is bizarrely controlling and frankly just mean. I think if you really think about it you probably know that and don't really care since somehow it inconveniences you.


Posted by Pamela
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 10, 2015 at 10:04 am

US Foreign Language Deficit Web Link


Posted by Billie
a resident of Mohr Park
on Oct 10, 2015 at 10:14 am

Oh, where to begin . . .

"Better economic opportunities will then come with better English skills."

Although Pleasanton Parent wasn't specific in the ethnic/cultural makeup of the "pockets" of parents to which he/she has taken exception, does anyone really think this poster is referring to illegal "Hispanics from several points South supposedly come here for greater economic opportunities"? Really? Living and going to school in Pleasanton? According to the latest Census data, 67% of Pleasantonians are white. 28.4% of us are not white, Hispanic or Latino; 10.3% of us are Hispanic or Latino. The median household income in Pleasanton is $118,317.
~~~~
"If we didn't pass out free housing . . ."

Home ownership in Pleasanton is about 70%. The median value of owner-occupied housing units is $709,400. 24% of all housing units are in multiple unit structures. Even with 4.8% of our population living below the poverty level, do you really think *any* of the housing in Pleasanton is "free"?
~~~~
"America would likely not have become the leader of the world unless we all assimilated and worked together."

I can think of a few times in America "we all assimilated and worked together":
- Native American forced relocation marches to desert reservations.
- Slavery.
- Segregation.
- "Jim Crow" laws. Poll taxes. Literacy tests. "Whites only" restrictions.
- Unchecked KKK rampages that included murder, kidnapping, rape, beatings and intimidation.
- Ethnic isolation, harassment and discrimination of immigrant/citizen Catholics, Irish, and Jews.
- The aforementioned forced relocation of Japanese Americans.
- The assassinations of Civil Rights Leaders and workers like Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers and the Mississippi three.
- Treatment of veterans after Vietnam.
- Backlash against inter-racial marriage, both physical and incarceration.
- Backlash against gay marriage.

Racial, ethnic and cultural segregation, murder, harassment and incarceration have long been the way many in America have chosen to "work together" and help those of us who are not white, anglo-saxon, protestants "assimilate".

We can do better! We can be better!

Pleasanton Parent, are you truly coming "from a place of unity"? Will you continue to hang only with your English-speaking "pocket" that "discourage[s] engagement between parents" and "encourage[s] isolation and further divide"?

As I said before, change happens when one person has the courage to bridge the gap. Introduce yourself. Get to know the parents of the kids your kids go to school with who are not in your "pocket". You might be amazed at how much you and your kids, as well as those you *positively* interact with, can benefit.

Census data: Web Link
"Jim Crow" America: Web Link


Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 10, 2015 at 2:01 pm

Interesting Ted article, obviously Europe is much more densely populated with multiple cultures/languages and corresponding countries. How much of the casual conversation in an alternate language is done in that native countries school vs in public or when traveling across borders into a neighboring country.

Billie, nice try, those are not instances of when we all assimilated and worked together - regardless of assimilation those groups never would have accepted others. It's not the same. I don't hate these people, I don't wish they weren't part of our community, I do wish they spoke English at school however.

I can speak Spanish at home and will do so. I speak English in public. Will I break from that? No, not unless I have to.


Posted by Pleasanton parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 10, 2015 at 2:08 pm

In San Jose this created a problem for the schools. The kids could speak English and their native language. The parents could only speak their native language. The parents complained that the school sent home homework they couldn't help their kids with. As a result their kids struggled and teachers spent additional time with them to bring them up to baseline. Meanwhile other kids wait


Posted by Billie
a resident of Mohr Park
on Oct 10, 2015 at 3:16 pm

"nice try, those are not instances of when we all assimilated and worked together"

Good to know! I was aiming for sarcasm based in reality and history to show how little effort there actually has been to "assimilate" those of us who are not white, anglo-saxon, protestants. Oh yeah, and straight.
~~~~
"regardless of assimilation those groups never would have accepted others"

To which groups are you referring? Those of Native American, Black, Japanese or Irish descent? Catholics? Jews? Vietnam veterans? Interracial marriage partners? Gays and lesbians? Please enlighten me.
~~~~
"I speak English in public. Will I break from that? No, not unless I have to."

I don't believe anyone, myself included, asked you to stop speaking English - in public or at home. I simply suggested that if you truly wanted to *encourage* "engagement between parents", you take that first step to get to know those parents not in your "pocket". Unfortunately, that seems to be beyond your comfort level. I guess that "place of unity" you're actually coming from means maintaining the unification and sanctity of your particular "pocket" of peers. Too bad.


Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 10, 2015 at 3:21 pm

@pleasanton parent,

Feel free to speak Spanish in public. If you have the time, learn a third language and speak it too.


Posted by Kevin
a resident of Del Prado
on Oct 10, 2015 at 3:55 pm

Thanks for making my point. If no one in HK schools is going to bend over backwards to engage you and you are struggling with language barriers, you can hardly fault one for feeling comfortable speaking with others in your native language.

And birthright citizenship is an irrelevant topic, but thanks for throwing that in to randomize the conversation a bit further.

I applaud those who come here to make a better life, are absolutely making an effort to adapt, and have to weather this kind of judgement from others. Let them connect to others in their own way. If someone from France wants to connect to a French Canadian, let them speak French.


Posted by Jtjh
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 10, 2015 at 6:28 pm

In a social situation, such as waiting to collect children from school, I think it's unreasonable to expect people with a common first language to speak a different language when they're together. Similarly, I think it is perfectly normal for mothers meeting their children from school to want to talk about the day in their own language . If they choose not to, as Pleasanton Parent's mother seems to have done, then that's fine. But I don't think it should be expected of them.

What would be rude, would be for a group of mothers able to speak English to continue to speak a different language after a parent who didn't understand that language had joined their group. And I doubt whether many would. If they're stay-at-home mothers, they might even be delighted to have the opportunity to use their English in conversation with a native speaker.. That's another of the reasons why Kathleen's and Billie's "bridging the gap" suggestions make so much sense.


Posted by Hilda Pilda
a resident of Stoneridge Orchards
on Oct 10, 2015 at 7:22 pm

can we all get along?

signed,

cholo


Posted by Laverne
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 11, 2015 at 9:05 am

I cant tell if this is a joke or not. It seems so crazy. I was born & raised here, as were my kids & husband. Not once can I ever imagine feeling the way you do. This is America, it is a giant melting pot. Diversity is our greatest attribute. Good luck with your disposition.
It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength. ~Maya Angelou


Posted by kbenson
a resident of Bordeaux Estates
on Oct 12, 2015 at 8:25 pm

Not 2 highjack this thread, but
I see some non-english speaking children attending @ least 2 SDC classes. (These are classes for kids with disabilities)

I might be wrong, but could the schools be placing "some" children into these classes, to learn English? Would that be justified?


Posted by Ed
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 13, 2015 at 6:43 am

46 comments and counting on this topic. Personally I don't see why it matters if foreign languages are being spoken by parents as they wait for their kids. Am I missing something here?


Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 13, 2015 at 8:20 am

Ed,

You're right, it doesn't matter. Could just be a troll started this thread to get attention.


Posted by pleasanton was nice forty years ago
a resident of Castlewood
on Oct 13, 2015 at 9:42 am

Its Divisive and exclusionary. If you do not speak their language you are left out.
So Diversity does not include everyone only those who fit in the narrow box.
Why would anyone come to a country, America that is all inclusive and then exclude others. Maybe these people dont really care about America or its values. Language can unite or divide. It appears most are in favor of dividing this country. Time to assimilate or be called out for what you are. Greedy takers who use America for your own personal gain with no regard to the divisiveness you create.
Speak up in English and unite or don't and exclude. Your choice but dont think you are fooling anyone about your disrespect for America.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 13, 2015 at 11:01 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Wow, PWN40YA. Have you traveled internationally? Do you know the language of every country you visited? Even if you do, would you find yourself speaking in English with those in your travel group? In traveling I have heard the language of the native speakers and many other languages as groups wandered about taking in the sites.

I have worked with families who were embarrassed and struggled to register their children for school. They were so relieved when someone could assist in their language. In such a diverse district there were employees in other departments who spoke Mandarin, Vietnamese, Spanish, Japanese, and Cantonese, to name a few, and who were always happy to assist. I never found anyone who was impolite, didn't say Hi or Hello, or didn't say Please or Thank You.

I would guess these families do their best to speak English when they are in situations requiring them to do so (shopping would be another example). BUT the case the author noted was outside of the school when picking up their children. Native language is perfectly acceptable when conversing with one's own family. And maybe it avoids busy bodies.

And still the solution is to step forward and try to be inclusive and non-devisive yourself if you are actually interested in, or wish to interject yourself into the conversation of, those with whom we share this community. After all, the language any of us speak is merely a circumstance of birth and not intended as a personal affront to others.


Posted by Stella
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 13, 2015 at 11:55 am

"And maybe it avoids busy bodies."

Exactly, intended to exclude.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 13, 2015 at 12:24 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Not exactly, Stella. There is the possibility that someone wants to say something privately; hard to do in a crowd. Again, it isn't about "YOU." Walk up and say, "Hello, I'd like to introduce myself." I am certain the other party will do their best to speak English or indicate they don't speak English. Otherwise, at best, others are attempting to listen in, making them busy bodies.


Posted by Billie
a resident of Mohr Park
on Oct 13, 2015 at 1:04 pm

Well said, Kathleen!


Posted by Billie
a resident of Mohr Park
on Oct 13, 2015 at 3:39 pm

You know, the whole line of thought about the necessity of "assimilating" those who aren't white, anglo-saxon, protestants who speak English only, reminds me of the Borg from Star Trek. You remember the group that turned various species into drones that were part of a hive mind called the "Collective" in order to "raise the quality of life" of the species they "assimilated"?

The Borg made its intentions pretty clear to those targeted for "assimilation". Every species the Borg encountered was assessed to determine whether its biological and/or technological distinctiveness was considered "worthy of being added to the Collective's perfection". If found to be so, the species was set upon and forcibly assimilated; the Collective considered the species' will in the matter "irrelevant". Web Link

Any of the following quotes sound like they just might apply to some of the poster's views in this thread? lol

"We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. Your biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile." (Star Trek: First Contact)

"We are the Borg. Existence, as you know it, is over. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Resistance is futile." (Voyager: "Scorpion")

"I am Locutus of Borg. Resistance is futile. Your life as it has been is over. From this time forward, you will service us." (The Next Generation: "The Best of Both Worlds")


Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 13, 2015 at 4:06 pm

Traveling temporarily in another country and learning the language and living in another country, sending your kids to school day in and out where they are taught in english, where updates, instructions, reviews are all in English are not comparable activities.

I'm OK accepting the general statements that this isn't a big deal.

I'm not OK accepting that my questioning this puts me on par with hitler, the kkk, and now star trek borg.

We can be accepting of other cultures and still require certain things (ie English only on school campuses). It doesn't make one a hateful person.

Why are those claiming to be so enlightened and open minded and accepting to different ideas so closed minded to accepting an alternative thought on language on instructional campuses?

Pot, kettle?


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 13, 2015 at 4:24 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Pleasanton Parent, It is because your post is not about students learning a language for their new country "on instructional campuses." Your post was about parents speaking their native language outside of the instructional environment.


Posted by Special Educator
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 13, 2015 at 10:36 pm

"Not 2 highjack this thread, but
I see some non-english speaking children attending @ least 2 SDC classes. (These are classes for kids with disabilities)

I might be wrong, but could the schools be placing "some" children into these classes, to learn English? Would that be justified?"

@kbenson

Regarding ELL students in an SDC:

Special Education is governed by Federal Law and State Education Codes (laws). Children are not able to even cross the threshold of special education for any service unless they qualify for services based on specific data from valid testing. The testing has severe criteria. 50th percentile (not percentage) is where the average child perfroms on these standardized tests. A child must perform at the 7th percentile or below on mulitple measures before they can qualify for a service. That is a dramatic level. It's a very small window and the program they recieve MUST only address the deficits a child has as revealed by the evaluation alone. The deficit outlines the goals and the goal drive the service.

Contrary to popular mythology and uninformed opinions such as children who don't "cut it in the classroom" and/or teachers who can't "deal with" a child's learning issue in a classroom are simply tossed into special ed, and that the schools gain more money for each child placed into special ed thereby "incentivizing" them to overdiagnose, is completely absurd. All three are categorically false.

As outlined above, there are specific laws in place to protect children from being pulled from a classroom for less that lawful reasons, as was elided to.

As to the financing, the federal government passed laws for special needs children, but did not fund it. In other words, it is the law that a child who qualifies for special services gets it, but there was no funding given. Guess where the money comes from? Out of the school budget. The EXISTING school budget. Special education recieves no more money per current students or additionally identified students. We are not financially incentivized to draw children into services. In fact, we must take money from the regular education budget. Guess how well that goes over? We have a heavy burden to prove children need services from parents AND justify our results to the district. That is why the Assistant Superintendent of Special Ed is in place. It is hardly a boondoggle for anyone, let alone a place to put ELL students. Can you say "lawsuit?"

We must justify by strict standards and with standardized and objective testing why a child is being removed from the classroom at any point for services. Further, if a child spends more than 51% of their time outside of the classroom at any point, the system is then inverted and they are placed in an SDC to keep them in the classroom.

As a specialist in the public school system for over twenty years, I can point you to the fact that every teacher in California is required to hold a CLAD certificate to teach English language learners (ELL now, previously known as ESL) in the classroom. I can attest that ELL children with disabilities are absolutely evaluated in their primary language and the same strict policies govern. In other words, all testing is done by a qualified specialist who is fluent in the child's primary language.

Our current educational model has worked its way along to present by absorbing what the ballot box tells it to do. Californians removed funding for ESL classes and demanded that the onous of learning the English language is on the child/family. Sink or swim is what we told them. Teachers have the job to "differentiate the curriculum"...fancy way to say teachers need to teach one curriculum to all children in their classroom, be it advanced learners, standard learners, delayed learners or non-fluent speaking learners.

Like it or lump it, this is the modern expectation of the teaching professionals in California and be assured, any non-English speaking children recieving services in an SDC, have been thoroughly evaluated and belong there and any comments to the contrary demonstrate an absolute ignorance of the law.


Posted by Billie
a resident of Mohr Park
on Oct 14, 2015 at 10:28 am

Really, Pleasanton Parent?

Hitler as a diversion tactic? Not biting.

On a par with the KKK? Please reread our previous discussion regarding intended sarcasm addressing how "America would likely not have become the leader of the world unless we all assimilated and worked together."

As for the Borg reference,hmmmmm
"Effort must be made to assimilate."
"people were motivated to assimilated [sic] rapidly"
"assimilate or be called out for what you are"

Nope, I think the Borg reference is eerily on target for some posters views regarding "assimilation".

So, back to you and our earlier discussion about, as you termed it "these people". You said: "regardless of assimilation those groups never would have accepted others"

Again I ask, to which groups are you referring? Those of Native American, Black, Japanese or Irish descent? Catholics? Jews? Vietnam veterans? Interracial marriage partners? Gays and lesbians? Please enlighten me.


Posted by Ed
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 14, 2015 at 12:35 pm

Why are we still talking about this? It's not even an issue


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