The purpose of school is to put every student in the position to succeed. How can you do that if they are not speaking the same language? That was the plight of a Bergen County teacher who flipped on students telling them to "speak American." Of course, there is no such language as "American" she's right.

How can the student who doesn't speak English succeed in a world where it's the dominant language? If I were an immigrant parent sending my child to school, I would demand that they speak English because I would want my child to succeed in this country. If I'm raising "dreamers" I want them dreaming in English. It gives them a much better chance of having their dreams come true.

Where the teacher was wrong was to say on video that “Men and women are fighting. They are not fighting for your right to speak Spanish. They are fighting for your right to speak American,” I'm guessing she's not a social studies teacher because American men and women fight for our right to speak whatever language we choose. I just don't think it's a good choice to not speak English in America, especially in our schools.

When students speak a different language, It's a form of bullying and you know how we feel about bullying in New Jersey. How can I react to you if I can't understand you? How do I know you're not putting me down right in front of my face? The "Jersey" in me asks how can you be so gutless? But I digress.

The best way for schools to succeed is for both student and teacher to be comfortable with each other. They can't do that if they can't understand one another. That's why I'm in favor of the bill introduced state Sens. Anthony R. Bucco, R-Morris, and Steven Oroho, R-Sussex, that would simply declare English the official language of the state. Bucco has introduced the same measure in previous sessions of the Legislature but it has never come up for a vote in recent years. It's time to vote.

The United States has no “official language” — and the American Civil Liberties Union believes that declaring one would violate the First Amendment right to free speech. I disagree since no one is saying you can't speak your native language at home or in your neighborhood. But if you're doing business or going to school in New Jersey, you need to speak English.

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