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Pima College targeted by ProEnglish group over classroom Spanish

A lawsuit alleging that a PCC student was unfairly suspended for objecting to others speaking Spanish in class is being supported by a spokesman for white nationalist and anti-immigration groups. Atlanta's Phil Kent has joined Tucson attorney and GOP activist John Munger to back the claims of student Terri Bennett.... Read more»

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4 comments on this story

Jul 15, 2013, 9:50 pm
-6 +6

Wow…what a stupid story. And, by that I’m not saying that it isn’t media worthy or written poorly. I mean everyone involved in the story seems stupid.

I can certainly relate to Ms. Bennett to a point…I have always found it very irritating, rude, and just unnecessary for people to speak Spanish around those who they know full well don’t speak the language. What in the world could doing that possibly accomplish that is positive? I’m guessing that those doing so did so only to offend Ms. Bennett in some way. I’ve seen it before…many, many times. Too many times.

If Ms. Bennett was venting her frustrations…isn’t that, you know, like her First Amendment right or something? Since PCC gets 57% of it’s revenue from taxes (or at least that was the number when I worked there), aren’t they bound to adhere to governmental principles such as freedom of speech?

As to Ms. Bennett…I’m hoping she’s just doing this for the cash, because that’s the only thing that’s going to come out of this lawsuit. She’s not going to change the world, and she’s not going to change anyone’s behavior. I could perhaps sympathize with her more had she not accepted “help” from those looking to politicize her situation. She’s pissed off because she was unjustly suspended. I get that. But, when she brings these other types into her fight, it looks very, very bad for her. She really would be better off fighting this battle alone than with the “help” she’s received in this case.

As to her getting back in to school…I’m not sure I would want to go back to a school that suspended me. Aren’t there other choices for nursing students in this town?

Jul 16, 2013, 11:48 am
-10 +20

Thank you Dylan.  This was not a “poorly written story,” and I thank you for bringing to light what things are like at PCC.  I can empathize with this woman being older than most of the students and them all speaking Spanish around her in her presence.  She’s been a student at that college for over 10 years and no doubt has always been in classes with younger students who like to speak Spanish with each other.  She doesn’t appear to have a previous history of this complaint.  Now that she’s close to finishing her nursing program they suspend her for a valid complaint and call her a bigot.  I wish her success in her law suit.  Spanish speakers should use the classroom as an opportunity to keep up on their English skills rather than use their Spanish to intimidate.

Jul 18, 2013, 11:05 am
-5 +11

How wonderfully ironic that the group proclaiming they’re “the nation’s leading English language advocates” have a grammatical error in their slogan.

Jul 19, 2013, 7:23 pm
-21 +13

It’s a novel concept, trying to force people not to speak Spanish. Not very American of course, or Constitutional. But it is a fascinating example of how some would like to overturn free speech for no other reason than that it annoys them.

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Ryan Revock/TucsonSentinel.com

Suspended PCC student Terri Bennett, center, with family member Richard Romero, right, ProEnglish spokesman Phil Kent and attorney John Munger (at lectern).


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