Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Don't Say A Prayer For Me Now

Posted By on Tue, Jul 8, 2008 at 6:55 PM

After the public uproar that erupted in Terrebonne Parish when a school valedictorian spoke a sentence of her commencement speech in Vietnamese, the Terrebonne Parish School Board is now considering a policy, which would require that English only be spoken at high school graduations.  The board will also look at requiring school prayer at graduations.

Enter the Dragon; or, in this case, the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana.

class="MsoNormal">Marjorie Esman, executive director or ACLU of Louisiana, has written a letter to the school board expressing her organization’s concerns with the two proposals. Esman points out that for the board to require a graduation prayer is unconstitutional and the Supreme Court has already ruled, several times, against it. As for the “English only” requirement, Esman writes that this notion also likely violates the U.S. and Louisiana Constitutions, and appears to be the result of ethnic and racial discrimination.  

Ironic isn’t it that this would come out of a parish, where for decades, Cajun and Native Americans weren’t allowed to speak their native language?

But school board member Rick Pitre sees no such irony.

"I don’t like them addressing in a foreign language," Pitre said during a recent committee meeting. "They should be in English."

No word yet on the board’s ruling on awkward sentence structure.




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