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Cliffside Park High School Teacher Demands Students “Speak American” Instead of Spanish

The incident has sparked widespread outrage by students, parents and others in the town and beyond.


Photo courtesy of Google Maps

A video of a Cliffside Park High School teacher telling her students to “speak American” in her classroom surfaced on Thursday and is being shared widely on social media. The video appears to be taken by a student in the class. The NJ teacher audibly says, “They are not fighting for your right to speak Spanish. They are fighting for your right to speak American.”

A few students then stood and left the classroom, one of them saying, “I know how to speak English” as they walked out. The teacher can then be heard again saying, “Goodbye! Goodbye!” to the students.

Video courtesy of YouTube user World Wide Weeb

The incident sparked widespread outrage throughout the town, which is 30 percent Hispanic, according to US Census data. As a result, students participated in a walkout on Monday during which they waved flags from countries like Colombia and Brazil outside the school as drivers passed by honking their horns. The Cliffside Park School District hasn’t publicly discussed how the incident and protests will be handled.

Tweet courtesy of Twitter user Mike Curley, Jr. @MWCurleyJr

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