OK for private school to have English-only rule

by Walter Olson on September 16, 2008

“A federal judge ruled [last month] that a Wichita Catholic school policy requiring students to speak only English didn’t break any civil rights laws.” U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten still felt free to give St. Anne Catholic School a tongue-lashing over the alleged divisiveness of its policy, though he found it did not rise to the level of creating a “hostile educational environment”, which would apparently have triggered liability even in a private religious school setting. (Ron Sylvester, “School prevails in English-only lawsuit”, Wichita Eagle, Aug. 16, GoogleCached).

{ 7 comments }

1 Deoxy 09.16.08 at 9:23 am

“hostile environment” is the vehicle by which the feds have pushed themselves into every part of private life except the actual home (I bet they’re working on that).

The concept is an abomination even WITHOUT such abuses.

2 John Rohan 09.16.08 at 12:30 pm

Link isn’t working.

3 Walter Olson 09.16.08 at 12:43 pm

GoogleCached version is here and a search on the key phrases will turn up other web versions (with or without fair-use problems).

4 Todd Rogers 09.16.08 at 12:57 pm

Deoxy, let’s not discount our friends at the ACLU; a most ardent wielder of the hostile environment sword.

This is akin to a claim that exclusively teaching Catholicism at a Catholic school is potentially abusive.

5 OBQuiet 09.16.08 at 2:31 pm

Wasn’t there a report here recently about a casino being sued when some employee made lewd comments about a patron in Spanish?

I guess the rule that lawyers want is for all employers be required to have translators on hand for any language that any employee might wish to speak.

6 Todd Rogers 09.16.08 at 3:27 pm

The rule that many lawyers want is for all events, behaviors, phenoms to be actionable. It’s economic. The more things that can be put in to the “injury” category, the more potential customers. The more customers you have, the more business. The more business you have, the more profit you are capable of securing. Of course, the only exclusion to this “rule” is that these lawyers operate outside of its area of enforcement and are hence, mostly immune to it.

7 Fox2! 09.16.08 at 11:54 pm

Several years ago, there was a mental health department in eastern Oregon looking for a Klingonese translator. Just in case.

Don’t know if the KLI was able to help them.

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