Things That Matter

A Latino Student Was Told To ‘Speak English’ By A Substitute Teacher And Now The Video Is Going Viral

A Soccoro, Texas high school teacher is now under investigation following an incident where she told a Latinx student to “Speak English, we’re in America.” The moment was captured on camera, according to KVIA. The teacher, who was a substitute, even called security on the teenager who was identified as Carlos Cobian. 

This is the second recorded scandal at Soccoro High School. Last week, a teacher was caught on camera slapping a female student on the butt. He was subsequently put on paid administrative leave as the district investigates. 

Recordings of racist incidents against Latinxs have made headlines since the Trump administration began to double down on harmful rhetoric about Latinxs and immigrants. Meanwhile, the number of anti-Latinx hate crimes soared in 2018 according to the FBI. This is just one new example of how the President’s rhetoric hurts Latinxs. 

KVIA spoke with Cobian who explained what went down.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?ref=external&v=1381997688636949

Cobian says he entered the classroom while watching a football game of Argentina playing Uruguay on his phone. According to him and what can be seen in the video, other students were also on the phone but the teacher singled him out. The substitute came over to Cobian and tried to take his phone from him. 

“I saw that she was gonna get it so I got it too and I told her ‘no why, no porque?’ and that’s when she said talk English, we’re in America,” Cobian said.

Students at the Socorro Independent School District are allowed to have phones on campus for school use, however it does require permission from a teacher. According to the district’s code of conduct, “When students are not using the devices for approved instructional purposes, all devices must be turned off during the instructional day. Violations may result in withdrawal of privileges and other disciplinary action.” 

Cobian still doesn’t know why she singled him out, but her response left him feeling understandably angry.

“I was shocked, and then I got a little mad,” he said. “For her to come to teach at Socorro, being a sub, like 90% of the students here are Mexicans and Latinos.”

The teacher accused Cobian of pushing her. The video showed he never even tried.

Things escalated when the teacher called security on Cobian. She even said he tried to push her. Security removed him from class to question him, but when he began to explain the picture became clearer. 

“I thought it was a little racist because you know, we live on the border and it’s all Mexican, Latinos,” Cobian told WIVB. 

Fortunately, some of his peers were recording everything when it was happening. The recordings would clear Cobian’s name.

“She actually tried to say that I pushed her, but I didn’t and some of the videos come out that I didn’t really push her,” he said. 

Cobian said that when the security guards watched the video they seemed to believe him. He did not receive any disciplinary action from the school. 

“The incident in the video is being investigated. Appropriate action, per our employee code of conduct policies, will be taken,” a spokesperson for the school district told KVIA. 

League of United Latin American Citizens issued a statement calling for the substitute teacher’s banning. 

“The substitute teacher caught on camera telling a student to ‘Speak English’ must be permanently banned from instructing students effective immediately. Teachers and all school staff are meant to be leaders and mentors to our children – not racists who harbor anti-immigrant sentiments,” said Domingo Garcia, national president of LULAC. 

Garcia noted that for nearly 50 years, Spanish was banned in public schools in Texas — the state that used to be a part of Mexico — making the teacher’s comments all the more egregious. According to the Texas Star-Telegram, legislators banned Spanish under the premise that it prevented students from embracing American culture and English. However, statistics from 1967 showed that 89 percent of Latinxs essentially dropped out of school because of the rule.

“From 1918 until the Texas Bilingual Act in 1969, Texas laws banned Spanish in public schools and many of us remember personally that this was enforced with humiliating corporal punishment in schools. It is abominable that this institutionalized racism against the Hispanic community in Texas hasn’t ended,” Garcia said. 

Students who spoke Spanish when it was banned received humiliating punishments — it’s no wonder they would drop out. 

“The days when a Hispanic student’s mouth would get washed with soap for speaking Spanish are long gone,” said Mary Yañez, El Paso district director of LULAC. “We ask the Socorro Independent School District to investigate this matter and if racial comments were made by the teacher, she should be banned from teaching.”

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Showtime’s ‘Bad Hombres’ Is A Documentary Highlighting The World’s Only Binational Baseball Team

Entertainment

Showtime’s ‘Bad Hombres’ Is A Documentary Highlighting The World’s Only Binational Baseball Team

tecolotes_2_laredos / Instagram

Sports have a way of bringing people together. The experience of rooting for your team is a unifying feeling that transcends borders and culture. Showtime is exploring the importance of sports through the lens of the Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos.

“Bad Hombres” is a documentary highlighting immigration under President Trump through baseball.

Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos are the only binational professional baseball team in the world. The team splits their home games between stadiums in Laredo, Texas and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. Director Andrew Glazer wanted to highlight the immigration issue through a sports lens to offer a different layer to the narrative.

“Most of the people trying to come into the U.S. are families and children trying to escape horrible violence in Central America,” Glazer told CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “That story has been told, so what I wanted to do was show people in a way that I thought would be relatable to what life is like on the border. What life is like on those two sides and how interconnected they are. The thing that struck me to be honest is that initially in Laredo, Texas was how pervasive Spanish is spoken.”

The documentary shows the struggles of the baseball team trying to make sense of the volatile U.S.-Mexico border relations.

The Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos split time playing their home games between two stadiums in the U.S. and Mexico. The Trump administration’s constant battle with Mexico and threats to close the border put the team’s season in jeopardy. A first look teaser shows team managers trying to coordinate the release of game tickets in time with the ever-changing immigration announcements from the Trump administration.

“Bad Hombres” speaks politics without directly addressing politics.

“Even though my film has an overarching political message, the players are not covertly or overtly political in any way,” Glazer told CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “They are baseball players and they are living their lives and a lot of them are trying to make it to the majors and some of them were in the majors and are now finishing their careers. There wasn’t a whole lot of political discussions.”

Glazer made sure to highlight the depths and complexities of the team members dealing with the political climate without politics.

“Inherently, what made the team fascinating is you had players from the U.S. who were Anglo-American players and Mexican American players who had a different perspective,” Glazer told DJ Sixsmith. “Then you had Mexican players and some Dominican players and Cuban and people from everywhere else. There were different languages and different perspectives. Seeing how that developed over time was pretty fascinating.”

“Bad Hombres” is streaming on Showtime.

READ: Veronica Alvarez Is The Coach For The Oakland A’s And Her Presence Is Giving Girls A Chance To Pursue Baseball

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Voting Rights Activists Are Sounding The Alarm Of Latin Voter Suppression In Texas

Things That Matter

Voting Rights Activists Are Sounding The Alarm Of Latin Voter Suppression In Texas

Lynda M. Gonzalez-Pool / Getty Images

Voting turnout is the topic on everyone’s lips as we get closer to Nov. 3. The current election cycle has seen record early voting, especially for Democrats. However, in Texas, the increased turnout has led to what many are calling voter suppression to prevent the growing Latino community from voting.

Voting advocates are sounding the alarm that Texas’ GOP governor and politicians are suppressing Latino voters.

Latinos are 40 percent of the Texas population. According to a poll, Latino voters in Texas are more motivated than they were in the 2018 midterms. Twenty-eight percent of Latino voters turned out in 2018 and things have changed drastically since, mainly due to Covid-19.

Latinos in Texas are facing disproportionate rates of Covid-19 infections.

Houston Public Media reported that while Latinos make up 40 percent of the population in Texas they make up 52 percent of Covid infections. Meanwhile, white Texans make up 30 percent of Covid infections. The numbers show an uneven response to the pandemic that has left Latinos behind.

The forced consolidation of drop-off locations and limiting of mail-in ballots is further endangering the Latino community. The Covid pandemic is not over and forcing people to vote in person will only increase the spread of the virus.

One way Gov. Greg Abbott has made it harder for people to vote safely is limiting drop-off locations for mail-in ballots.

Gov. Abbott made the decision to limit the number of ballot drop-off locations to one per county. As demonstrated by the graph above, this leaves 4.7 million residents of Harris County one drop-off location. Gov. Abbott cited the false Republican talking point of voter fraud as his reasoning for suppressing the vote in the Lone Star State. By comparison, Los Angeles County, home to 10.4 million residents, has 398 drop-off locations for mail-in ballots.

Despite this, Texas Latinos are fired up and ready to vote.

A poll found that 90 percent of Latinos voters are ready to vote in the 2020 election. Sixty-six percent of those voters are leaning towards are are definitely voting for a Biden/Harris ticket compared to 25 percent voting Trump/Pence. A large majority of Latino voters says that it is more important to vote now than it was in 2016 because of everything that is at stake.

READ: Republicans Have Made Voting In This Majority Latino Town In Kansas Nearly Impossible

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