(Headline USA) Denver Public Schools announced a new policy this week that will allow immigrant students to avoid learning English as part of the district’s efforts to promote “diversity” and “inclusion.”
A draft of the policy refers to the new policy as “language justice,” which it defines as “the notion of respecting every individual’s fundamental language rights—to be able to communicate, understand, and be understood in the language in which they prefer and feel most articulate and powerful.”
The district said it hopes the policy will allow its schools to be “free of oppressive systems and structures rooted in racism and one which centers students and team members with a focus on racial and educational equity, enabling students to ultimately become conscientious global citizens and collaborative leaders.”
It went on to claim that DPS has a responsibility to “achieve equity” by “remov[ing] deeply rooted systems of oppression that have historically resulted in inequitable access and distribution of opportunities and resources for those who represent marginalized identities, including but not limited to race, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, language and ability.”
Rosa Guzman–Snyder, a co-founder of Community Language Cooperative—an organization working with the district to advance “language justice”—said the policy “is not just a matter of hiring more interpreters and translators but rather creating systems and building the infrastructure that best supports linguistically diverse families and supporting multilingual staff.”
The public school district has more than 40,000 students who are non-English-speakers, most of whom are immigrants, according to DPS.
“We will continue to work with school leaders and staff to help provide knowledge of these policies and strategies to accomplish language justice in every classroom and school,” the group said on its website.