In the midst of national suicide, signs of life; in the midst of all-embracing lies, the courage to speak the truth
public school substitute teacher wrote a letter to state Senate President Russell Pearce saying that most of the Hispanic eighth grade students he had taught, many of whom are illegal aliens, “do not want to be educated but rather be gang members and gangsters. They hate America and are determined to reclaim this area for Mexico.” Republican state senator Lori Klein read the letter on the floor of the Senate, without naming the teacher. A Democratic senator was outraged, and suggested the letter was a fraud. The teacher then came forward and, instead of apologizing, stood behind what he had said
. And not only that, but Senate President Pearce also stood by the letter and by his colleague Lori Klein’s reading of the letter on the Senate floor. Below are several items on this. The initial story
comes from KGO AM radio:
Arizona Teacher’s Letter on Hispanics Sparks Immigration Debate
PHOENIX)—An Arizona state senator has set off a hot debate over racism and taxpayer-funded education of illegal immigrants with her public reading of a constituent letter that said most Hispanic students “hate America.”
“Most of the Hispanic students do not want to be educated but rather be gang members and gangsters,” said State Sen. Lori Klein on the chamber floor Friday, quoting from a letter by a Phoenix-area substitute public school teacher sent to Senate President Russell Pearce. “They hate America and are determined to reclaim this area for Mexico.”
Klein, a Republican, was speaking in support of a bill which would require the Arizona Department of Education to collect data on students who cannot prove their “lawful residence” in the U.S. in order to better estimate the cost of educating illegal immigrants.
“If we are able to remove the illegals out of our schools, the class sizes would be reduced and the students who wanted to learn would have a better chance to do so and become productive citizens,” Klein continued, quoting from the teacher’s letter without revealing his identity. “Thank you for standing up to this invasion.”
The presentation drew an impassioned rebuke from Democratic State Sen. Steve Gallardo, who questioned the authenticity of the anonymous letter, and called the reading of it into the public record deplorable.
“I don’t think I’ve ever heard any floor speech similar to the one that was given out right now,” Gallardo said. These students “do not have dreams to be gang members, they do not want to be thugs or whatever we want to phrase it as. These are good kids.”
The bill “does one thing. It puts fear in our communities and our schools. That’s all it does,” he said. Minutes later the measure passed a procedural vote.
The teacher behind the letter, Tony Hill, came forward Monday to confirm details of his experience teaching Hispanic students in an interview with the Arizona Republic. Hill said he wrote state legislators after substitute teaching in a suburban-Phoenix public school where most of his eighth grade students were undocumented, and made offensive statements about the U.S.
“It just upset me that this was what’s occurring,” he told the Republic, “to see this disregard for America and their hatred towards it and their entitlement.”
Here is the article
in the Arizona Republic
in which Tony Hill describes the experience with Hispanic students that drove him to write the letter:
Letter about Hispanic students in Glendale spurs controversy
Tony Hill said an unusually disheartening day of substitute teaching Glendale middle-school students spurred him to write a letter to Senate President Russell Pearce.
He didn’t intend for that letter to be read on the Senate floor by Sen. Lori Klein, R-Anthem, or for it to become the center of an immigration legislation debate. He didn’t intend for it to become the focus of a public-records fight between Pearce and the media, or to find himself the center of media attention.
- Read the teacher’s letter to Sen. Pearce
But it was, and now he is.
Hill said he wrote the letter Klein read last week, and he said every word is true. Klein did not name the author during her speech.
He said the letter was about an experience with a history and language class in a grade 4-8 public school in Glendale, but he would not name the school. Glendale Elementary School District reported it has no record of a Tony or Anthony Hill subbing in the past couple of years. Hill’s employment could not be confirmed at other districts in the city by press time.
In the letter, Hill said that a majority of students in that class refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance and when asked why told him “we are Mexicans and Americans stole our land.” He said “most” of the students wrote in papers that “they were in the country illegally, White Americans are racist, and that they came here for a better life.”
Hill said that when he asked the students to stop speaking Spanish in class, they told him that “Americans better learn Spanish and their customs because they are taking the land back from us.” He said most students refused to open the textbook, tore out pages, and threw them at each other.
Senate staff originally released the letter following a public-records request, but did not include the name of the author. Sen. Steve Gallardo, D-Phoenix, demanded during the Senate floor session Monday that the author be identified. He questioned the legitimacy of the letter.
Pearce told the media he would not release the author’s name because the teacher would “probably be attacked, probably be fired.”
But a few hours later, Senate Republican staff released the original letter.
When contacted by phone, Hill said he didn’t write the letter out of malice or hatred.
“It just upset me that this was what’s occurring … to see this disregard for America and their hatred towards it and their entitlement,” he said.
Hill, who said he has a master’s degree in education and is working as a substitute teacher until he can find a teaching position at the community college level, said this was the first letter he’s written to a legislator. He said he regrets sending the letter because of the media attention it attracted.
Dan Barr, a Phoenix attorney with expertise in media law, said letters to state legislators are public record.
“And when they get up and read it aloud on the floor, they waive whatever arguments of privacy and confidentiality they could make concerning that letter,” Barr said.
Here is Hill’s letter:
March 15, 2011
Dear Senator Russell Pearce,
I am compelled to write to you about a recent event that occurred to me. I currently work as a substitute teacher in the west valley areas of Phoenix, Glendale, and Peoria. I was called upon to teach history and language arts for 8th grade at a Glendale public school. The number of students I had in each class ranged from 28 to 38 children, which were almost all Hispanic and a couple of Black children. The day started out as usual turning on the television listening and watching the announcements and saying the Pledge of Allegiance. During the Pledge of Allegiance I notice the vast majority of students refusing to stand and say the pledge. I asked the students why they refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance and they responded by saying, “we are Mexicans and Americans stole our land.”
The teacher’s instructions were for the students to read a few pages and answer the questions regarding Mark Twain in their history textbook and to finish their final drafts to Senator Steve Gallardo thanking him for his position on Illegal Immigration rights. Their teacher apparently had showed them a video with Senator Steve Gallardo and Lou Dobbs. Most of the students came unprepared for class not possessing paper and pencil. I provided the students with paper and pencils only to have them wade-up the paper and throw it at each other along with their pencils.
The students’ final drafts that I read were basically the same. Most of them stated they were in the country illegally, White Americans are racist, and that they came here for a better life. I asked the class if America adopted Mexico immigration laws would Americans still be consider racist?
That question they could not answer and called me a racist for asking it. I mentioned that my wife and children are Hispanic so how could I be racist? I asked the students to stop speaking Spanish in class because it was impolite to speak a language in front of people who may not speak that language. Their response was that Americans better learn Spanish and their customs because they are taking their land back from us.
When it came to completing the Mark Twain assignment only 10 students completed it out of all my classes. Most of the students refused to open the book, tore the pages out of the book, or threw the textbooks at each other. I thought are these the students we are trying to educate with taxpayers money. I have found that substitute teaching in these areas most of the Hispanic students do not want to be educated but rather be gang members and gangsters. They hate America and are determined to reclaim this area for Mexico. If we are able to remove the illegals out of our schools, the class sizes would be reduced and the students who wanted to learn would have a better chance to do so and become productive citizens.
I applaud and support your efforts to stop this invasion into our state and country. When the citizens of a country are forced to speak the invaders language, adopt their customs, and forced to support them, are we not a conquer nation? I do not want to see our state and nation turned into a third world country. Thank you for standing up to this invasion. You may contact me by phone, e-mail, or mail. Thank you, again.
Here is the story on Sen. Pearce standing by the letter, as reported
by the Arizona Republic
Sen. Russell Pearce defends letter author
Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 23, 2011 12:39 PM | Send
Senate President Russell Pearce sent out a press statement defending a letter written by substitute teacher Tony Hill and read on the Senate floor by Sen. Lori Klein.
Pearce said he has spoken to Hill and that Hill stands by what he wrote. Pearce criticized Senate Democrats for questioning the legitimacy of the letter. Hill in his letter said students refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance, tore pages out of textbooks and threw paper.
“I am shocked that members of the minority are so quick to defend the actions of these troublemakers, and mock the frustration many teachers feel in bringing order to the classroom,” Pearce said in his statement. “this is happening in our classrooms.”
Pearce said Democrats have called on him and Klein to apologize for publicizing the letter. He said they would not apologize.
“A teacher has a First Amendment right to express themselves, and we have an obligation to our citizens to keep them informed on what is happening in our schools.”
The Arizona Department of Education has confirmed that Hill is certified as a substitute teacher. Hill declined to say which school he was describing, but said it was not a charter school.
Glendale, Peoria, Alhambra and Pendergast school districts have no record of Hill teaching there. Deer Valley has not returned multiple calls seeking information.