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‘Speak English, we’re in America,’ Socorro High substitute teacher is caught on video telling Hispanic student

Substitute teacher at Socorro High tells this student,
Substitute teacher at Socorro High tells this student, "Speak English, we're in America."

SOCORRO, Texas -- A substitute teacher who filled in earlier this week at Socorro High School is now under investigation after a video surfaced of her telling a male Hispanic student to, "Speak English, we're in America."

In an exclusive interview with ABC-7, junior Carlos Cobian says he walked into class watching a soccer match on his cell phone, while other students were also on their phones.

That's when Carlos says he was approached by the teacher, who asked for his cellphone.

Carlos says he answered in Spanish.

"¿Por qué?"

That's what Carlos asked the unnamed substitute teacher, who then responded in a moment caught on camera that has since gone viral.

"I was shocked, and then I got a little mad."

Carlos said he did not antagonize her. He says he had no clue why she chose to single him out when other students can be seen in the video on their phones.

"For her to come to teach at Socorro, being a sub, like 90% of the students here are Mexicans and Latinos."

Carlos said he does consider the comment to be racist.

He says the substitute teacher also called security on him. He was removed from class and questioned.

"She actually tried to say that I pushed her, but I didn't and some of the videos come out that I didn't really push her."

While describing his experience with security, Carlos explained that once they watched the video, they were calm. He also says he has not faced any disciplinary action regarding the incident.

Socorro Independent School District (SISD) tells ABC-7, "The incident in the video is being investigated. Appropriate action, per our employee code of conduct policies, will be taken."

The district provided ABC-7 with a link to their employee code of conduct being referenced in that statement.

A spokesman for the district also provided ABC-7 with the district's cell phone policy, per the student handbook.

Instructional Use of Personal Telecommunications and Other Electronic Devices:
In some cases, students may find it beneficial or might be encouraged to use personal telecommunications or other personal electronic devices for instructional purposes while on campus. Students must obtain prior approval before using personal telecommunications or other personal electronic devices for instructional use. When students are not using the devices for approved instructional purposes, all devices must be turned off during the instructional day. Violations may result in withdrawal of privileges and other disciplinary action.

This is the second incident at Socorro High School to be caught on cell phone video by students. Earlier this week, ABC-7 reported a teacher was seen on camera seemingly slapping a female student on her bottom.

That educator is currently on paid administrative leave while the district investigates.

Article Topic Follows: Education
socorro high school
speak english
substitute teacher

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Trisha Garcia

Trisha Garcia is an ABC-7 producer.


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