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  • KDW Ferrell

Putty Peeps Diaries - Fight For Your Right to Speak American?

A teacher is under investigation for berating students for speaking Spanish during class. She said, “military men and women fighting are not fighting for your right to speak Spanish, they’re fighting for your right to speak American.”

Did I miss something? I took classes in English, studied French, took a short class in Japanese, did a self-study in German and played some games in Italian. In all my years of language study I have yet to find a class, audio course, iPhone app, flashcards or language learning game for the American language.

One conservative pundit (it doesn't matter which one because they are all friends on Fox) said in his report: "Quite frankly, the teacher deserves a raise and a pat on the back. She has a right to implement discipline and order in the classroom. She has a right to set rules and regulations dictating conduct. And to suggest that petulant children who mutter in a foreign tongue have a constitutional right to disobey their teacher is just muy loco."

Did I miss something? Oh right, muttering in a foreign tongue is a display of petulance and should be treated as misconduct. Apparently, muttering in a foreign tongue is not covered by, oh what is it called? Oh right (insert head slap moment) Amendment I of the U.S. Constitution. You know the one that says Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

So, let's break that down. Congress cannot infringe on a person's right to free speech or impede a person’s form of expression but an English teacher in New Jersey can prohibit student’s free speech and prohibit their individual form of expression. That makes sense. The English teacher can tell kids, who are bilingual that they cannot speak in a language other than American. Of course, American is not a language so what she really meant was the kids can’t speak a language she does not understand. She simply couched her remarks under a patriotic notion, just like most bigots.

You know, as a Putty Peep I wondered is there a difference between freedom of speech and freedom of expression? Relying on the Google universe I discovered there really is no difference. Speech is a form of expression and this might surprise you, it is not the only protected form of expression. Therefore, your campaign donations are entitled to protection under the First Amendment as money is expression, even though money in and of itself it is not speech.

Want to know what else I learned? There is no official language of the United States. That’s right folks, neither English, nor American, nor American English is the official language of these United States, and that includes New Jersey. Oh there have been attempts to make English the official language but concepts like due process and equal protection stand in the way of those who want English only courts, or ballots, or signs, or menus. I know muy loco, right?

As I was paying for my latte today, and pondering this subject I looked down at my wallet, okay I looked at the guy in front of me because I don’t have a wallet, I am a Putty Peep after all so I use my phone to pay for my coffee. But I digress, the guy in front of me paid for his coffee and put a one-dollar bill in the tip jar. Do you know what this little Peep saw on that bill? Why I saw some un-American foreign words on the one-dollar bill.

That’s right folks we’ve got trouble right here in River City, because right below our national shield. You know the one with the bald eagle holding an olive branch (a symbol of our desire for peace) and 13 arrows (for 13 original states ready for war), the 13 vertical stripes (signifying the 13 original states joined under one force) and the motto written on the ribbon hanging from the eagle’s beak that says, “E Pluribus Unum,” which translates to out of many, one.

Go ahead pull out a dollar bill, look for yourself, one of the mottos for these United States, is not written in English or American but in Latin. Latin, a language that is considered a dead language because no one speaks it anymore except in arcane science fiction books and U. S. Money.

Oh, but wait there’s more. On the other side of the giant ONE and under In God We Trustis the pyramid underneath the Eye of Providence (I prefer the Illuminati symbol myself) and the words “Annuit Coeptis”(meaning “He has favored our undertakings”) hang just above the pyramid. Just below the pyramid are the words “Novus Ordo Seclorum”(meaning “A new order of the ages”). Notice these are in Latin as well. Would these mutterings be banned in a New Jersey English classroom?

The issue lies not with the idea of a national language but with the idea that speaking your native tongue, demonstrating you are bilingual, or showcasing your English as a second language is not protected speech. If those same students stand outside this teacher’s classroom protesting her racist views and destructive behavior they are exercising their right for peaceful assembly. It DCS shame that the act of speaking another language in class is seen as defiant behavior.

If these kids can’t speak Spanish then why is their a foreign language requirement in schools? Why do colleges require two years of foreign language? I wonder if this English teacher interrupts the German class or the French class or the Spanish class and tells them they can only speak American?

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