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Principal Accused Of Threatening To Punish Students Speaking Spanish

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File photo of a classroom. (Photo by Jetta Productions/Getty Images)

File photo of a classroom. (Photo by Jetta Productions/Getty Images)

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HEMPSTEAD, Texas (CBS Houston) – The principal of Hempstead Middle School has been placed on paid administrative leave after she was accused of threatening to punish students for speaking Spanish in her classrooms and hallways.

Parents learned of an announcement made last month on the matter by Principal Amy Lacey through their students, including Cynthia Zamora, whose sixth-grade daughter sent her a text message about possible punishments for speaking Spanish afterwards.

“I understand they want these kids to learn English. I understand this. We want our children to learn English,” Zamora told KPRC-TV. “It’s not something that is going to happen from one day to the next.”

Officials with the Hempstead Independent School District acknowledge that an announcement was made, KPRC learned.

“What I can tell you is that an announcement was made,” district spokesperson Laurie Bettis was quoted as saying. “The content of that announcement is still under investigation.”

In the meantime, the school district reassured families that there are no policies in place prohibiting the speaking of other languages in school besides English.

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