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Posted: 5:24 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013
HEMPSTEAD, Texas —
A Texas middle school has found itself in the middle of a heated controversy over student rights, educational practices and multiculturalism.
According to KHOU-TV, the principal at Hempstead Middle School is on paid administrative leave after trying to ban students from speaking Spanish in class.
Students say on Nov. 12 Principal Amy Lacey announced over the school intercom that students could no longer speak the language in the school's classrooms.
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Two weeks later parents received a letter from the school district's superintendent stating that there would be no such ban.
KHOU reports Lacey's announcement has had an impact, despite the district's insistence that no such policy would be enacted.
Sixth-grader Kiara Lozano said students still feel intimidated, "People don’t want to speak it no more and they don’t want to get caught speaking it because they’re going to get in trouble.”
Fifty-five percent of the students at Hempstead Middle School are Hispanic, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Lacey will remain on paid administrative until the district completes its investigation.
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