City Teacher Sues in Spanish Curse Word Debate

By CRISTIAN SALAZAR
|  Sunday, Nov 28, 2010  |  Updated 12:00 PM EDT
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City Teacher Sues in Spanish Curse Word Debate

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It can be tossed off almost harmlessly like "damn'' or dropped like an F-bomb.

It can be heard expressing joy, frustration and outrage on the streets of New York's Spanish-speaking neighborhoods.

Now, a public high school teacher is suing the city after he was suspended and fined $15,000 after being accused of deploying the word "cono''  in his Manhattan classroom. School officials view the word as inappropriate for the classroom and accuse Carlos Garcia of misconduct.

The teacher's attorney says Garcia didn't use the word. But the city attorney agrees with the hearing officer's decision to suspend and fine him.

New York is home to thousands of immigrants from across Latin America and the Caribbean. What's considered profanity among one ethnic is can be everyday slang in another.

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