Sunday, June 14

Language Barriers

And the problem is...?

Love this article from the Associated Press:
CINCINNATI (AP) — A Hindu father from Ohio has filed a complaint with the Justice Department claiming his son was forced to eat a beef taco in the school cafeteria.

Ashish Gandhi says the taco incident occurred at the Academy of World Languages [AWL], a public magnet school in Cincinnati. Eating beef is considered a sacrilege to Hindus.

Cincinnati Public Schools attorney Gary Winters told investigators the boy chose the taco himself, and the employee who gave it to him was unaware of his dietary restrictions.

Gandhi, who moved to the U.S. from India in 2007, calls the taco meal an "intentional act of religious bigotry." He filed a separate complaint claiming the school has refused to offer his son services for students who don't speak English.

Nearly half of the academy's students speak foreign languages."

Now wait a minute. Since this sounds like a "typical" charter - read alternative - school, with ESL (English as a Second Language) courses available, shouldn't Dad have asked if they did indeed have someone who spoke the requisite language to teach his son?

And what, exactly, has sonny learned thus far if he didn't speak any English?

The Academy of World Language's website says there are "...foreign-language learning opportunities including Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, and Russian."

Enrollment forms, however, are available not from AWL's site, but from the Cincinnati Public Schools' website, and are available in English, Spanish, French, and Arabic.

Is it just me, or is there a bit of a disconnect here?

In AWL's defense, though, they do say "...Students in all grades receive foreign-language instruction at least 150 minutes on a weekly basis."

In this case, however, it's just not English.

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