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School Halts Bid to Curb Use of Spanish

May 02, 1987|Associated Press

TORNILLO, Tex. — School officials have scrapped a plan asking parents to punish children for speaking Spanish at school, a campaign that government agencies said might violate the youngsters' civil rights.

The Board of Trustees also dropped a Feb. 18 requirement that teachers in the Tornillo Independent School District speak to students in English only, school Supt. Francis Brooks said Thursday.

The campaign prompted protests from Latino leaders and others across the country.

Brooks said representatives from the Texas Education Agency spoke to him before a special session of the board this week, and the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department telephoned.

"The Justice Department just said there was a chance it could violate civil rights, but they recommended we withdraw that action," Brooks said.

The Education Agency polices a 1971 federal desegregation order and investigates possible civil rights violations.

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