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News Link • Education: Private Religious Schools

Schoolgirl banned from playing basketball for speaking Native American language

• RT

And what did we learn today, class? At Sacred Heart Catholic School in Shawano, Wisconsin, a recent lesson plan revealed to students that saying “I love you” in one’s native tongue is something worthy of disciplinary action.

A seventh grade student at the private northeastern Wisconsin school learned that lesson the hard way recently after educators decided to boot 12 year old Miranda Washinawatok from the basketball team for saying a few phrases in the language used by the Menominee Tribe of Indians.

The Menominee are a nation of Native Americans that total around 8,700 in the state of Wisconsin. Never mind the fact that the Menominee have been in the area for over 1,000 years, though. In America, you speak English. Unless, apparently, you don’t want to play school sports.

After her teacher complained that Washinawatok had spoken a few phrases in her tribe’s language, the student says the educator became pretty agitated.


2 Comments in Response to

Comment by Ed Price
Entered on:

Since this school is a Catholic school, it is a parochial school, somewhat like a charter school. The rules and laws for these schools are not exactly the same as for public schools. In fact, these schools have a lot of autonomy. They can determine much of their own requirements for attending.

Since the parents are not required to send their kids to this school, if they don't like it, they can find other options. There are other parochial schools in the area.

Heaven forbid that this Catholic school becomes so bad that the kids are better off in a public school. But, if it DOES get that bad, then the better choice is the public school, of course.

When a school (or any other organization) is a voluntary organization, it is against the principles of freedom for Government to force it to obey rules that are not required by law. The only possible time Government should step in is when the school does illegal activity, or when it harms its students by NOT obeying its own rules. Other than that, the parents should take their kids out of the school if they don't like it, and send them somewhere else.


If a particular school is the only school in an area, and if the kids are required by law to attend school, it is the duty of the State to set up proper public schools in a locations reasonably accessible by the kids, or provide busing. Most, if not all, States meet legal schooling requirements, one way or an other, for all the children of the State.

Comment by James Eldridge
Entered on:

As this article says, there are many children from this tribe enrolled in this school. Then that school should have a course in that tribes language and all teachers should be required to speak that language. This now happens in many schools in the Western states that the teachers have to be bi-lingual in Spanish. What about not allowing for those children to attend school until they all speak English?

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