Society

School Responds To Criticism Over English-Only Policy

| by Dominic Kelly

After cafeteria workers at a school that’s part of the Los Angeles Unified School District were told that they could only speak English, they criticized the decision and complained to officials. Now, LAUSD has responded.

Recently, administration had a sign posted in the cafeteria at Koreatown’s Harvard Elementary School that read, “During works hrs we the café have a English only rule for safety reasons.” Some note the school has mainly Spanish-speaking students and a majority of Spanish-speaking cafeteria workers, so the notice came as a surprise to everyone.

“I would say like 99 percent of the kids are Hispanic, so there’s no reason for them to tell them not to talk Spanish,” said Frislian Gomez, a parent.

Still, despite criticism, the district says they stand by their decision.

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“In an emergency situation in a busy kitchen area where an employee is trying to communicate ‘hot food’ or a similar warning it is suggested that these phrases are spoken in English for the benefit of everyone working in the kitchen and cafeteria area,” said LAUSD in a statement.

The policy itself is said to date back to the year 2005, and the elementary school recently posted two signs to remind people of the English-only rule. While many have disagreed with the policy, some have been able to see the positives and keep an open mind about it.

“What if it’s a hot soup that they’re serving and then the kid doesn’t understand Spanish,” said a local parent to CBS 2 News in Los Angeles. “And if you say ‘excuse me’ in Spanish and the kid doesn’t know, then how do you expect them to communicate?”

Sources: CBS 2 News, News OK