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Spanish class sparks “white power” debate in Colorado high school

.- Earlier this week, a simple question in a Spanish II class in Broomfield, Colorado triggered a heated discussion regarding immigration issues in the United States and resulted in a student declaring, “white power.”

During the class, the question was presented: why do students have to learn Spanish?  The typical high school classroom argument led to an intense debate on the topic of immigration concerns that resulted in at least one student repeating the phrase, “white power.”

Jeanette DeMelo, the spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Denver commented, "It became a heated discussion and some rhetoric was used that was inappropriate for the classroom.”

In a statement from Holy Family High School, the principal, Sr. Mary Rose Lieb explained that while it was a class of 30 students, fewer than six presented xenophobic opinions.  “The remaining two-thirds were silent or voiced support for immigrants.”

She also addressed earlier media reports, “Contrary to media reports, there were no chants by more than one student.  Two students, who were offended, asked to leave the classroom and were given permission to leave. However, the discussion ended when other students realized how these students were affected and all of the students remained until the end of class.”

“Holy Family High School is dedicated to being a family—through respect and charity for all its members. It’s always had a diverse student body. It values that diversity and strives to be a place of unity and respect for all.  The distortion and inaccurate reporting of this situation is hurtful to a community that should be praised for how well they get along in their diversity.”

The school has also reported that the students involved are remorseful and have been disciplined.  School officials have also discussed the issue with the teacher.


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April 19, 2014

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