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After Being Told To ‘Speak American’ By A Teacher Students At This School Protested By Walking Out

Credit: WPIX

“Well, first of all, ‘American’ is not a language…”

Students at Cliffside Park High School in New Jersey walked out of class on Monday to protest a teacher’s racist comments, which were captured in a Snapchat video the previous week. The video in question shows the moment when a substitute teacher asked that students speak “American” instead of Spanish. The teacher told students that “military men and women are not fighting for your right to speak Spanish — they’re fighting for your right to speak American.”

In the Snapchat video, the teacher can be seen telling the students to leave, shouting “good bye” as the students try to explain why they were offended. Monday’s walkout was a protest of the teacher’s actions.

NBC News interviewed Vianery Cabrera, a 16-year-old who was reprimanded for speaking Spanish. Cabrera, a junior at the school, had been talking with a friend in Spanish about the Yankees when the teacher made her remarks. Cabrera said, “I have the right to speak Spanish. I have the right to speak English. I have the right to speak whatever language I speak, and that’s my right. There’s no law that says that I should or I must speak English.”

The protest started out small, with just a handful of students. The school was evacuated at 11 a.m. when a fire alarm was pulled. At that point, about a thousand students cleared the school, with several students joining the protest. Some of the students were seen waving flags from various Spanish-speaking countries.

The original Snapchat video can be seen below.

Credit: NBC News

The teacher, who has a history of cracking down on bilingual students, has not been reprimanded. It appears the school is not commenting on the situation.

[H/T] NBC News

READ: She’s Been Threatened, Called A Stripper And Reported To ICE, But This Latina Won’t Apologize For Standing Up Against Racism

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Undocumented Residents Struggle To Recover After Hurricanes Without Assistance

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Undocumented Residents Struggle To Recover After Hurricanes Without Assistance

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While millions of people in Mexico, the United States and Puerto Rico rebuild after a month filled with catastrophic natural disasters, there is one group struggling silently. Undocumented residents in the U.S. are the least assisted and most vulnerable population when it comes to natural disaster and recovery efforts. Why? Because they do not qualify for any government assistance. When their homes and belongings are lost to disaster, they do not receive the same aid as their neighbors.

A recent story by NPR’s Marketplace exposes this reality for the undocumented community trying to rebuild in Houston, Texas, after Hurricane Harvey. They followed Ingrid, an undocumented Honduran immigrant who came to Houston 12 years ago, as she tried to start the recovery process. A mother of four, her husband was deported to Mexico just one week before the hurricane hit.

FEMA offers up to $33,000 in cash assistance for every household impacted by natural disasters. For Ingrid, she is only allowed to apply on behalf of her US-born children, who are ages 12, 10, 6 and 3 months. However, having children that are citizens did not guarantee her any assistance. In fact, she never even received any.

“I filled out an application with FEMA but they still haven’t responded,” Ingrid told Marketplace. “They haven’t sent me anything. They’ve told me nothing. I don’t have any idea what happened with that application. I’ve been to various organizations but none of them helped me.”

If you would like to learn more about how Ingrid is managing through the recovery, click here.

(H/T: Marketplace)

READ: ICE Took Undocumented Women And Children To A Bus Station That Had Canceled Service Because Of Hurricane Harvey

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