Posted on June 3, 2005

Dallas Principals Face Spanish Principle

Fox News, June 1

DALLAS — A proposed solution to a lack of communication between English-speaking school principals and Spanish-speaking parents has a lot of people talking in Texas.

Some Hispanic Dallas moms say they’re often in the dark about how their children are performing in school because they don’t know English, and the principal doesn’t know Spanish. A new proposal before the school board would force principals to learn the native language of the majority of students — for 43 percent of pupils at Dallas schools that language is Spanish.

Critics argue the plan is a threat to the official language of America. The Dallas Council of PTAs says the solution shouldn’t be forcing principals to learn Spanish, but instead making the parents learn English.

“English should play a big role. This is America. And when in the history of this country, when people have come to this great nation, they have had to learn the English language,” said Harry Trujillo of the Dallas Council of PTAs.

Supporters say the plan, which is the brainchild of a Dallas schools trustee, can help children get a better education and make communication with parents more effective.

“I’m not pushing any change . . . bilingual, bicultural way of life has been in this state before the Alamo was here,” trustee Joe May said.