Spanish-speaking students at Kaplan College in California recently faced discrimination in the form of English-only policies implemented by the college’s president, Dennis Manzo. Manzo has been fired for his actions, including publicly acknowledging the Spanish-speaking students in front of classmates.
The policy was made known to students at Kaplan’s Chula Vista campus after an allied health student complained that she couldn’t understand her classmates when they spoke Spanish to one another. The program director informed the students the following day that only English was to be spoken in classrooms.
“Our policy is that instruction is in English but conversations can take place in any language. We don’t discipline students for speaking other languages in class,” said Kaplan’s corporate spokesperson who was enraged that someone would associate being bilingual with being unprofessional.
The new president of the Chula Vista campus is Angel Roman, the current president of Kaplan in Beaumont Texas.
Discriminatory practices at colleges and universities in the past have been based upon ethnic background, but now language is playing a part in these policies as well. LifeBound’s training programs provide parents, teachers and administrators with methods of working with diversity and discrimination issues in education. To learn more about LifeBound’s materials and programs visit www.lifebound.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Chronicle of Higher Education
May 31, 2010
President of Kaplan College Campus Is Fired Over ‘English Only’ Dispute
By Katherine Mangan
The president of Kaplan College’s campus in Chula Vista, Calif., was fired this month over his handling of an incident in which students were told they could face academic sanctions if they spoke Spanish in class, according to sources involved with the case. Dennis Manzo had been president since the campus, located just seven miles from the border of Mexico.