Thursday, January 11, 2007

Students kicked off school bus in St. Paul for speaking English


Imagine sending your kids off to school, but when they get to the bus they are told they can't get on because they speak English.

That's right, English.

It happened to a few children in St. Paul and now the school district is apologizing.

Rachel Armstrong sent her kids to pick up the bus as usual Monday, but after the driver let the kids on, he told them he would not pick them up again. He even said he wouldn't take them home that afternoon.

Armstrong left work early Tuesday, forced to pick up her kids from Phalen Lake Elementary School.

Her twin girls, 10, and her son, 8, were kicked off their regular school bus. They were told by the bus driver the route is for non-English speaking students only.

"I was furious. I was at work and I was just mad." Armstrong said. "I felt like we were being discriminated because we speak English. Just because they speak English, they can't ride the school bus. I mean, this is America, right?"

Administrators at St. Paul Public Schools admit the district made a mistake when it stranded the kids at school Monday.

However, the district points out, that particular bus route serves one of three language academies. The one at Phalen Lake is for Hmong students learning English.

The academies all have separate bus routes to keep its students together.

The district decided to enforce the separate routes beginning Monday, but it did not tell the Armstrong family.

"It is our responsibility to ensure the safety of these kids and we made a mistake. The kids should have gotten home that day," Dayna Kennedy, a public relations representative said.

The district also discovered the Armstrongs no longer live in the Phalen Lake School boundary because they moved last year.

So even though the district apologized, if they want to still go to Phalen, they are going to have to get their own ride.

Kids barred from school bus because they spoke English

English Forbidden On Public School Bus

Ethnic privilege in St Paul

English Not Allowed

Minnesota Kids Kicked off Bus Because they spoke English


I'm Utterly Speechless

No English Allowed On Minnesota Public School Bus


At 1:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i know someone who works at the school, so what i'm saying is the truth-
phalen lake had a program called tlc last year, which was for the hmong kids who had just came to the u.s. from thailand. As part of agreeing to the program, phalen was promised by the district that the students would be able to have transportation to the school (they don't all live in the attendence area) so that their education could be continued in one place. The language accademy is the follow up program. if the language accademy kids live in phalen's attendence area, they take the normal school busses, but if they live in other parts of st. paul, they get a special bus just for them.

the district's policy (that wasn't being enforced until recently) is that ONLY the language accademy students can get transportation if they live outside of phalen's attendence area

the principal of phalen lake had told the armstrongs, and about 10 other families at the beginning of the year, that they could ride the bus with the understanding that it wasn't theirs and that there was no garentee that it would always be availible to them. Now the district has told the bus drivers not to let the non-language accademy kids on. They have 2 options: get their own ride to school or switch to a school in their OWN attendance area. This has nothing to do with race or language.

At 8:51 AM, Blogger Adam Lawson said...

This has nothing to do with race or language.

Of course it has to do with race and language. A bunch of foreigners who can't speak English are being provided with transportation that is being denied to English-speaking Americans.


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