EL PASO, Texas (KVIA/CNN) - A substitute teacher at a Texas high school was caught on camera telling a Spanish-speaking student to speak English.

In the video, the unidentified teacher can be heard saying, "Speak English. We're in America."

According to KVIA-TV, the teacher was speaking to Carlos Cobian, a junior at Socorro High School in El Paso.

Cobian told the news outlet that he walked into class watching a soccer match on his cell phone. He said the teacher asked him to hand over the device. Cobian then responded, "¿Por qué?" which means "Why?" in English.

That's when the teacher reportedly made the comment that caught Cobian off guard.

"I was shocked and then I got a little mad," he said. "I thought it was a little racist because you know we live on the border ... For her to come to teach at Socorro, being a sub, like 90% of the students here are Mexicans and Latinos."

Cobian said he doesn't understand why the teacher chose to single him out when other students were using their phones.

The Socorro Independent School District said students can use their cell phones for instructional purposes while on campus, but they must first obtain permission from a teacher.

The district also said it's looking into the incident that was caught on video.

"The incident in the video is being investigated. Appropriate action, per our employee code of conduct policies, will be taken," the statement reads.

Copyright 2019 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. 

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(2) comments


I agree 100%. I have friends of all races and they all speak English. It is the language of our country

Casey Blackmer

I do not see where this is racist. She is correct in that English is the language of the US, and as such the student should be practicing his English. Knowing Spanish as a secondary language is cool as is French etc., but he is in school located in the US and should be speaking English.

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