Terri Bennett is a 50-year-old student at Pima Community College who has been suspended for objecting to students speaking Spanish in her Introduction to Nursing class. Now, she’s suing the school for being unfairly targeted and will seek a six-figure sum, according to The Tuscon Sentinel.
According to The Sentinel:
“After Bennett complained in March about students speaking Spanish, she met with a series of PCC administrators, who discounted her claims. PCC officials told Bennett she was being suspended because she argued with an instructor about a test answer, complained about students speaking Spanish in and out of class, and displayed intimidating behavior toward students, staff and faculty, the filings said.
“Bennett's claim said that the coordinator of PCC's nursing program, David Kutzler, called her a ‘bigot and a bitch,’ and accused her of ‘discriminating against Mexican-Americans.’”
Bennett claimed students translating lessons into Spanish for non-English speaking students constantly disrupted her, which she believes interfered with her ability to concentrate and learn the material, and was “hostile to her as an English speaker.”
The school claims Bennett, "had violated three provisions of the Code of Conduct, namely, that she 1) disrupted class, 2) engaged in discriminatory conduct, and 3) engaged in 'harassing conduct,' including 'stalking' and 'bullying,’” according to Courthouse News Service.
Phil Kent, an Atlanta-based spokesman for the Washington, D.C.-area group ProEnglish, has taken up Bennett’s fight, which he called “outrageous,” according to The Sentinel.
"It's a sad day that we're here filing this suit in Arizona, it's a sad day in the United States of America, for this woman to be persecuted and insulted, discriminated against," Kent said, wearing a tie featuring the Confederate Stars and Bars, during a Monday press conference.
"It is outrageous how Ms. Bennett has been mistreated and discriminated against by Pima County Community College based on her cultural background as an English speaker," Kent wrote last week, announcing the group’s backing of the suit.