One of the last political signs in town was taken down yesterday – a “Protect Parental Rights, Vote No on 203″ – sign just outside Davis Bilingual Magnet School.
Its removal did not go unnoticed, and those gathered to see it said they, too, would not be unnoticed in their continued fight for bilingual education. The sign, in front of a school that could be greatly affected by the state’s vote last week to put a virtual end to bilingual education, was taken down at a “reflective service” outside the grounds at 500 W. St. Mary’s Road.
The Rev. John Fife, pastor of Southside Presbyterian Church, asked the few children in the crowd of about 60 people if they knew about Martin Luther King Jr. and Cesar Chavez. “Did they win the first time, or the second time?”
No,” the children said.
“But did they win?” Fife continued.
“Yes,” was the answer.
“They won because they were fighting for justice,” Fife said, adding that those in favor of bilingual education also will win in the end.
Kim Kunnie, another minister and the mother of two young boys at the school, said, “This is not a time of sorrow, but of reflection.”
She and Fife prayed.
Davis Principal Guadalupe Romero said she had to have a special assembly the day after the election because “the children were not just sad, they were scared.”
“One child who heard a teacher speaking Spanish in class asked, ‘Are they going to take you to jail?’ ”
Romero explained that students may speak Spanish. Instruction, however, must be done in English.
The law doesn’t take effect until next school year, and legal appeals will be filed long before then, she said.
Two newer signs remain at the school: “Bilingual is BEAUTIFUL” and “Es Hermoso ser BilingUe!” – or “It’s beautiful to be bilingual.”