A middle school principal near Houston who banned the speaking of Spanish on school grounds is out of a job, reports KHOU. The Hempstead School Board on Monday chose not to renew the contract of Amy Lacey, who set off a local firestorm on Nov. 12 when she announced, over the intercom, that her school would no longer tolerate kids speaking Spanish; she was placed on paid leave the following month. About half of the school's students are Hispanic, and Waller County has one of the state's fastest-growing populations of Hispanic residents, reports the Houston Chronicle.
The issue became so heated that the district's Hispanic superintendent says vandals have trashed her yard and strangers have taken photos of her house. Worse, school employees last month found that vandals damaged the brake lines of three school buses, two of which transported students before the the damage was discovered. Nobody was injured, and it's not certain the events are linked, but Hispanic advocacy groups have asked the Justice Department to open a hate-crime investigation. "A lot of this sounds like Mississippi in the 1950s and '60s," the director of one such group told the school board. (Read more Spanish stories.)