Sunday, February 5, 2012

Private School Suspends Menominee Girl For Speaking Native Tongue

But there's no racism in Wisconsin, right?
What's love got to do with it? Not much, especially if you say the words "I love you" in the Menominee language in front of a certain Wisconsin teacher.

Seventh grader Miranda Washinawatok, Menominee, found this out.

Miranda speaks two languages: Menominee and English. She also plays on her basketball team. However, two Thursdays ago she was suspended for one basketball game because she spoke Menominee to a fellow classmate during class.

Miranda attends Sacred Heart Catholic Academy in Shawano, Wisconsin. The school body is over 60 percent American Indian. The school is approximately six miles from the south border of the Menominee Indian Tribe Reservation.


Miranda and a fellow classmate were talking to each other when Miranda told her how to say "Hello" and "I love you" in Menominee.

"The teacher went back to where the two were sitting and literally slammed her hand down on the desk and said, "How do I know you are not saying something bad?"

The story did not end there. In the next session, another teacher told Miranda she did not appreciate her getting the other teacher upset because "she is like a daughter to me."
The article goes on to point out the irony that the Green Bay Diocese, which operates the school, has an answering machine that works for English or Spanish, but not for Menominee, even though Menominee children make up 60% of the school population.

Even though the article points out that the school is Catholic, they don't own the market on bigotry and racism.

What I do think of is the Republican push to restore the racist and bigoted Native American nicknames and mascots for school teams.


  1. SCOTUS says that religious schools can discriminate in hiring...I had not heard a ruling which allows such non-profit orgs to discriminate in pupil instruction and facilitation of student athlete's access to free speech. That's news!

  2. This has nothing to do with racism but merely an attempt to sig the spotlight on themselves and a non issue. The reason the menominee attendance is so high is due to the poor education system on the reservation. The issue was raised by this kids mom, a single mother of course, who is now trying to get he teacher fired because her kid didn't follow the rules. Just another Indian reinforcing the stereotypes for the rest of us Indians.