Teacher Who Told Student to 'Speak American' Returns, Apologizes - NBC Chicago
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Teacher Who Told Student to 'Speak American' Returns, Apologizes

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

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    Students Stage Walk Out Over Comments from Teachers

    Nearly 100 students walked out of a New Jersey high school Monday morning to protest a teacher seen telling Spanish-speaking students to "speak American" during class, despite the principal's warning that they would be disciplined. Jen Maxfield reports.

    (Published Monday, Oct. 16, 2017)

    A teacher who sparked protests at a New Jersey high school when she told a Spanish-speaking student that he should instead "speak American" has returned to the classroom after making a school-wide apology.

    Cliffside Park School District officials say English teacher Laura Amico returned to work Tuesday after delivering an apology to staff and students over the school's public address system.

    Dozens of students at the high school in the heavily Hispanic district walked out of school earlier this month after a video clip surfaced in which Amico admonished a student for not speaking English.

    "Men and women are fighting. They are not fighting for your right to speak Spanish," the teacher said in the video. "They are fighting for your right to speak American."

    The incident sparked a walkout by students last week. Some said they were punished for particpiating in the protest, getting anything from detention to multiday suspensions.