Featured Stories

Constitution protects Foxworth

Portland Mayor Tom Potter should not spend taxpayers' money in 'vigorously' defending the firing of former Portland Police Chief Derrick Foxworth (Former Portland police chief plans to sue city for demoting him, Oct. 11).

Potter should negotiate an out-of-court settlement with Foxworth, because Foxworth's private and personal e-mails to his girlfriend are protected under the First and 14th Amendments, which guarantee free speech and public privacy rights to all U.S. citizens.

Foxworth does not have to prove he was racially discriminated against to afford his free expression and public privacy rights.

Shantu Shah

Southwest Portland

Indulgent immersion programs divide us

In the Oct. 10 article 'Mandarin speakers launch a flagship,' the Portland Tribune profiled Woodstock Elementary's Mandarin Chinese immersion program.

Advocates claim foreign-language immersion programs prepare students for life in a new, 'globalized' world.

But some of Portland Public Schools' immersion programs have been instituted, at least partly, for a reason Lent Elementary teacher Veronica Magallanes outlined recently in The Oregonian: the desire of some immigrant parents to have their children continue speaking their native tongues in American schools and thereby 'maintain cultural connections' with their ancestral countries.

This is a poor reason, even partly, for a school to institute an immersion program. Increasingly, America is populated by non-Western immigrants who insist on using foreign languages in the presence of the host population. This has turned our nation into a place where some understand some, others understand others, but all don't understand all.

The Portland Public Schools' responsibility is not to indulge immigrants wishing their children to 'maintain cultural connections' to foreign countries.

Rather, the schools' responsibility is to assure immigrant and limited-English students learn, and then use, English - the linguistic manifestation of the Anglo-European culture that made America a beacon of freedom and opportunity for their parents and countless other non-Western immigrants.

Beginning immediately, Portland Public Schools should limit enrollment in any immersion program to students fluent in English and not already fluent in the program's language. All other students should be immersed in English alone.

Richard F. LaMountain

Southwest Portland