A letter written by a substitute teacher has made the news in Arizona.
According to AZCentral.com
Tony Hill said an unusually disheartening day of substitute teaching Glendale
middle-school students spurred him to write a letter to Senate President Russell Pearce.He didn't intend for that letter to be read on the Senate floor by Sen. Lori Klein, R-Anthem, or for it to become the center of an immigration legislation debate. He didn't intend for it to become the focus of a public-records fight between Pearce and the media, or to find himself the center of media attention.
But it was, and now he is.
Hill said he wrote the letter Klein read last week, and he said every word is true. Klein did not name the author during her speech.
He said the letter was about an experience with a history and language class in a grade 4-8 public school in Glendale, but he would not name the school... In the letter, Hill said that a majority of students in that class refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance and when asked why told him "we are Mexicans and Americans stole our land." He said "most" of the students wrote in papers that "they were in the country illegally, White Americans are racist, and that they came here for a better life."
Hill said that when he asked the students to stop speaking Spanish in class, they told him that "Americans better learn Spanish and their customs because they are taking the land back from us." He said most students refused to open the textbook, tore out pages, and threw them at each other.
Senate staff originally released the letter following a public-records request, but did not include the name of the author. Sen. Steve Gallardo, D-Phoenix, demanded during the Senate floor session Monday that the author be identified. He questioned the legitimacy of the letter.Pearce told the media he would not release the author's name because the teacher would "probably be attacked, probably be fired." But a few hours later, Senate Republican staff released the original letter.
When contacted by phone, Hill said he didn't write the letter out of malice or hatred.
"It just upset me that this was what's occurring . . . to see this disregard for America and their hatred towards it and their entitlement," he said.
Letter About Hispanic Students in Glendale Stirs Controversy Alia Beard Rau, March 21st, 2011
Here is the text of the letter.
Senator Pearce stands by the letter. According to another article:
Senate President Russell Pearce sent out a press statement defending a letter written by substitute teacher Tony Hill and read on the Senate floor by Sen. Lori Klein.Pearce said he has spoken to Hill and that Hill stands by what he wrote. Pearce criticized Senate Democrats for questioning the legitimacy of the letter. .
"I am shocked that members of the minority are so quick to defend the actions of these troublemakers, and mock the frustration many teachers feel in bringing order to the classroom," Pearce said in his statement. "this is happening in our classrooms." Pearce said Democrats have called on him and Klein to apologize for publicizing the letter. He said they would not apologize.
"A teacher has a First Amendment right to express themselves, and we have an obligation to our citizens to keep them informed on what is happening in our schools."
Senator Russell Pearce Defends Letter Author Alia Rau, March 22nd, 2011
Kudos to Senator Pearce for doing the right thing!