Alia Beard Rau, AZ Central, March 21, 2011
Tony Hill said an unusually disheartening day of substitute teaching Glendale middle-school students spurred him to write a letter to Senate President Russell Pearce.
He didn’t intend for that letter to be read on the Senate floor by Sen. Lori Klein, R-Anthem, or for it to become the center of an immigration legislation debate. He didn’t intend for it to become the focus of a public-records fight between Pearce and the media, or to find himself the center of media attention.
But it was, and now he is.
Hill said he wrote the letter Klein read last week, and he said every word is true. Klein did not name the author during her speech.
Pearce told the media he would not release the author’s name because the teacher would “probably be attacked, probably be fired.”
But a few hours later, Senate Republican staff released the original letter.
When contacted by phone, Hill said he didn’t write the letter out of malice or hatred.
“It just upset me that this was what’s occurring . . . to see this disregard for America and their hatred towards it and their entitlement,” he said.
Hill, who said he has a master’s degree in education and is working as a substitute teacher until he can find a teaching position at the community college level, said this was the first letter he’s written to a legislator. He said he regrets sending the letter because of the media attention it attracted.
March 15, 2011
Dear Senator Russell Pearce,
I am compelled to write to you about a recent event that occurred to me. I currently work as a substitute teacher in the west valley areas of Phoenix, Glendale, and Peoria. I was called upon to teach history and language arts for 8th grade at a Glendale public school. The number of students I had in each class ranged from 28 to 38 children, which were almost all Hispanic and a couple of Black children. The day started out as usual turning on the television listening and watching the announcements and saying the Pledge of Allegiance. During the Pledge of Allegiance I notice the vast majority of students refusing to stand and say the pledge. I asked the students why they refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance and they responded by saying, “we are Mexicans and Americans stole our land.”
The teacher’s instructions were for the students to read a few pages and answer the questions regarding Mark Twain in their history textbook and to finish their final drafts to Senator Steve Gallardo thanking him for his position on Illegal Immigration rights. Their teacher apparently had showed them a video with Senator Steve Gallardo and Lou Dobbs. Most of the students came unprepared for class not possessing paper and pencil. I provided the students with paper and pencils only to have them wade-up the paper and throw it at each other along with their pencils.
The students’ final drafts that I read were basically the same. Most of them stated they were in the country illegally, White Americans are racist, and that they came here for a better life. I asked the class if America adopted Mexico immigration laws would Americans still be consider racist?
That question they could not answer and called me a racist for asking it. I mentioned that my wife and children are Hispanic so how could I be racist? I asked the students to stop speaking Spanish in class because it was impolite to speak a language in front of people who may not speak that language. Their response was that Americans better learn Spanish and their customs because they are taking their land back from us.
When it came to completing the Mark Twain assignment only 10 students completed it out of all my classes. Most of the students refused to open the book, tore the pages out of the book, or threw the textbooks at each other. I thought are these the students we are trying to educate with taxpayers money. I have found that substitute teaching in these areas 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. If we are able to remove the illegals out of our schools, the class sizes would be reduced and the students who wanted to learn would have a better chance to do so and become productive citizens.
I applaud and support your efforts to stop this invasion into our state and country. When the citizens of a country are forced to speak the invaders language, adopt their customs, and forced to support them, are we not a conquer nation? I do not want to see our state and nation turned into a third world country. Thank you for standing up to this invasion. You may contact me by phone, e-mail, or mail. Thank you, again.