It seems a New Jersey high school, Cliffside Park High of the town of Cliffside Park, has a teacher who insists English—or as she put it, American—be spoken in her classroom.

…men and women are fighting. They are not fighting for your right to speak Spanish. They are fighting for your right to speak American[.]

Of course, she’s being called a racist for insisting that folks assimilate into American culture rather than our culture be bent into the home country’s—every home country’s—culture.

Never mind that the reason folks come to the United States is for the advantages our culture offers compared to the country they’re leaving.  Altering ours to match the home country culture not only would defeat the purpose of the trip, it would destroy our nation for us citizens already present.

None of which means we require lock-step adaptation.  One of the strengths of our American culture is that we absorb—we culturally appropriate—the best practices of those old country cultures.  But there’s a critical directionality to that absorption.  Marvin Moreno, an alumnus, displayed the magnitude of the failure of our public school system with his objection to the teacher’s objection:

You go to school to learn, you don’t go to feel attacked by someone you believe is an educator[.]

Confusing being taught uncomfortable things with being attacked is itself strongly instructive.

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