Decision is ‘terrible blow against English-speakers’
“The Arizona Supreme Court in the case of Terri Bennett vs. Pima Community College this week outrageously sided with a college that created a hostile environment for an English-speaking nursing student,” says ProEnglish Chairwoman Dr. Rosalie Porter. “After making a simple request for her classes to be conducted in English, school administrators called Bennett a ‘bigot’ and she was punished with a nine-month suspension— and now, after years of fighting, a liberal-dominated court has confirmed a profound injustice against nursing student Terri Bennett.”
The Arizona law firm of Munger & Chadwick represented Bennett and, aside from the defamation and unfair suspension, the plaintiff originally alleged that the college was in violation of Arizona’s official English law.
“Unfortunately, during the lawsuit, a judge granted a directed verdict to the school on the counts for discrimination, defamation, and false light — so those issues never went forward. That judge also inexplicably ruled that the jury couldn’t get to decide on whether the school was supposed to ‘preserve, protect, and enhance English,’ which is a provision within Article 28 of the Arizona constitution,” Porter said. “Terri Bennett didn’t receive justice then, and now we witness this week’s travesty by Arizona’s highest court.”
“This is a terrible blow for those of us seeking to preserve and protect the rights of English-speakers in a taxpayer-supported institution,” Porter concluded, “but ProEnglish intends to fight on to protect English-speakers who are discriminated against.
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