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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The Father And Son Who Killed Ahmaud Arbery Don’t Want Him To Be Called A “Victim” In Upcoming Court Case

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The Father And Son Who Killed Ahmaud Arbery Don’t Want Him To Be Called A “Victim” In Upcoming Court Case

Sean Rayford / Getty Images

The men who murdered Ahmaud Arbery have some outrageous requests for their upcoming murder trial that really show just how far many will go protect white supremacy.

Despite their being video evidence of them chasing and shooting Arbery, the father and son are requesting that Arbery never be referred to as a victim. What the actual f***?!

Arbery’s killers are asking a judge to prohibit referring to Arbery as a “victim.”

The men responsible for Ahmaud Arbery’s death have a litany of requests for their upcoming murder trial – notably, they don’t want the word “victim” uttered in court while referring to the man they murdered.

Defense attorneys for Travis and Greg McMichael – the father and son who chased Arbery down with their truck and then proceeded to shoot and kill him in a struggle – have filed new motions in their trial. They want to prohibit the prosecution from ever referring to Arbery as a victim in front of the jury, because they say that’s a conclusion that can’t be reached before a verdict.

“The purpose of this motion is to prevent the prosecution from ignoring its duty to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that crimes were actually committed and that the McMichaels committed the crimes as charged,” states the four-page motion, signed by lawyers Franklin and Laura Hogue, Robert Rubin and Jason Sheffield.

According to the motion, the McMichaels argue no crime has been committed – remember, they’ve pled not guilty and argued self-defense. As a result, they say “loaded words” like “victim” might prejudice jurors against them from the jump.

But there’s more: his killers are asking the judge to only allow one photo of Arbery.

Their unbelievable antics don’t stop with the word “victim.” Defense attorneys are also requesting that only one “in life” photograph be permitted at trial to depict Arbery – and that the photo show him alone without any family members or friends. Not just that, but the defense asks that no family member of his be able to identify him in court, they want that done by an unrelated, third party witness, if necessary.

The reason: they argue too many photos of Arbery will create an ingrained bias in the jury’s collective mind, and paint him as a sympathetic character. They say they don’t want his family involved in ID’ing either because of possible emotional outbursts, which may also affect the jurors. So in other words, the McMichaels want this as sterile as possible.

One last thing: the McMichaels have asked that Black Lives Matter face masks not be permitted in court, that any jail calls they’ve made be stricken as usable evidence, but that Ahmaud’s criminal record be admissible. Again, what the actual f***?!

Arbery’s murder made headlines over the summer as he was chased and gunned down while out on a jog.

Credit: Sean Rayford / Getty Images

Arbery was killed on 23 February last year in Brunswick, Georgia, while out jogging. Prosecutors allege that Gregory McMichael, 64, a retired police detective, and his son Travis, 34, chased Arbery in their truck and initiated a confrontation that ended with Travis McMichael shooting Arbery dead.

Arbery’s killing sparked outrage in the local community and nationally, particularly after it was revealed that local law enforcement initially refused to arrest the suspects and a prosecutor, who later recused himself, wrote a memorandum explaining why he believed the killing was legally justified.

The McMichaels told detectives they believed Arbery, a trained electrician, was responsible for a string of burglaries in their neighbourhood, and merely wanted to ask him about them. They were arrested more than two months after the shooting, when the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the case.

A judge has yet to weigh in, and a trial date isn’t set.

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Former Texas State Senate Candidate Says She Was ‘Tortured’ in a Hotel Room After a Violent Ambush

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Former Texas State Senate Candidate Says She Was ‘Tortured’ in a Hotel Room After a Violent Ambush

Photo: Vanessa Tijerina/Facebook

Texas police are currently trying to get to the bottom of a disturbing incident that happened in Raymondville on Monday.

Former Republican candidate for Texas state Senate, Vanessa Tijerina, posted a shocking 10-minute Facebook Live video detailing the brutal assault she experienced in a nearby hotel on Monday.

Tijerina appeared in the video with her face looking unrecognizable. She had two black eyes–both of which were swollen almost completely shut.

Her face was covered in bruises. Her speech was impaired from how much swelling she was experiencing. It looked–to be blunt–like she had been beaten to a pulp.

Through tears, Tijerina explained to her followers that she was lured to a hotel room by some unnamed assailants who led her to believe they had “something really really really important” to tell her that they couldn’t tell her over the phone.

But once she was alone in the hotel room, the assailants “gagged, bound [and] tortured” her.

“I was beaten. I was terrorized, bound, gagged, tortured,” she said in the Facebook Live video.

“I never fought back because I knew that if I fought back, it would’ve been worse and I probably wasn’t going to survive. And I needed to survive for my daughters.”

Although a motive for the assault hasn’t yet been established, Tijerina is a relatively high-profile figure in Texas’s Raymondville community. She is active on social media and regularly goes on Facebook live to engage with her followers and supporters. And with her high profile comes a litany of critics and haters who have created troll accounts with the express purpose of smearing her.

Despite all this, Tijerina refutes the rumors that she “did something” to motivate the beating.

“There was nothing that I did that made this okay for this to happen to me,” she said. Tijerina began to get increasingly more emotional as she talked about her children and the fact that she was not able to give her children the toys she bought them for Christmas.

So far, Raymondville police have arrested three suspects in connection to the assault: Amanda Salinas, Ariel Jamie Vela and Ramon Donato Santana Jr. As for who was on the phone giving orders at the time of the assault, police are still looking for answers.

As of this writing, the police have not yet publicly revealed a motive. But since her attack, Tijerina has again taken to her Facebook page to assert that the assault was “100% motivated by hate.”

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