Latinos report discrimination at Texas school
Advocates are calling for the Department of Justice to look into Hempstead Independent School District after reports of intimidation from Latino staff and students.
Last year in a Texas school district where nearly half of all students identify as Latino, Principal Amy Lacey reportedly told her middle school over the intercom that students shouldn't speak Spanish. On Monday, the school board voted to let Lacey's contract expire at the end of the year. The principal has been on paid leave since December.
But that wasn't the end of accusations of discrimination and discouragement towards Latino students and employees in the Hempstead Independent School District, which include stalking the district's Latina superintendent and sabotaging school buses.
Hempstead Middle School is part of a rural district outside of Houston with an ever-growing Latino population that reflects the changing demographics of the state where half of all students in public schools are Latino and 15 percent of all students are English language learners. In Hempstead School District, one in ten students are English language learners.
The Houston Chronicle reported on Tuesday that the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund and the League of United Latin American Citizens are calling for the Department of Justice to investigate the reported discrimination and harassment of Latino staff and students in the school district. Hempstead School District Superintendent Delma Flores-Smith reported seeing strangers watching her house and taking photos. In February, school employees found tampered breaks with cut lines on three school buses, raising concerns about children's safety. Employees also found the tattered remains of a cat corpse on the site.