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KCK Student Sues over Suspension

16-year-old Zach Rubio
16-year-old Zach Rubio

By Sylvia Maria Gross

Kansas City, MO – On Monday, Lorenzo Rubio filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of his son Zach, who was suspended from school in Kansas City Kansas for speaking Spanish in the hallway. Turner Unified School District over-ruled the suspension as soon as the Superintendent was informed, but they will not say whether the school's principal, who called for the suspension, has been disciplined.

The Rubio's lawyer Chuck Chionuma says two other families have also complained about the alleged unwritten rule prohibiting Spanish at Endeavor Alternative School, and he's thinking about filing a class action lawsuit.

- Latino USA's Maria Hinojosa spoke to Zach, his father Lorenzo Rubio, and their lawyer Chuck Chionuma about the case.

- The Turner Unified School District issued a statement calling Rubio's punishment an isolated incident, and has apologized to Zach and his parents. The school district said it has taken steps to ensure that incidents of this nature do not occur in the future. The district's lawyer is Greg Goheen.

- Meanwhile, the Rubios say they have received calls from across the country, and even from Europe. Organizations have offered their support. The League of United Latin American Citizens has asked the Office for Civil Rights at the US Department of Education to investigate what it's calling a case of language discrimination. Brent Wilkes is national executive director for LULAC - he spoke to Sylvia Maria Gross.

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