New Jersey

NJ Students Say They Were Punished for Staging Walkout Over Teacher's ‘Speak American' Comments

Students said the teacher had repeatedly told two students to stop whispering to one another in Spanish

What to Know

  • A teacher at NJ's Cliffside Park High School was caught on camera telling Spanish-speaking students to "speak American"
  • The video, which has been viewed more than 9,000 times, shows students getting up from their desks and leaving the classroom in disgust
  • The school district has not commented on the video; students planned a walkout in protest during fourth period on Monday

Some New Jersey high school students say they are being punished for staging a walkout after a teacher told a class to "speak American."

Dozens of students walked out of Cliffside Park High School on Monday.

Some of the students told The Record they have been given punishments ranging from detention to multiday suspensions.

The school district told the newspaper on Thursday that a freshman and a junior have received suspensions this week. The reasons were not released.

Sophomore Anthony Campos, who received two Saturday detentions, says he feels it is wrong and says students have got to stand up for what they believe in.

The protest stemmed from a video clip in which a teacher in the heavily-Hispanic district admonished a student to "speak American."

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