In El Paso, Texas, a substitute teacher was caught on camera telling a Latino student to talk in English — and the teen is now speaking out.
“Speak English. We’re in America,” the unidentified teacher is heard telling Carlos Cobian, a junior at Socorro High School, in the short video taken by a student in the class.
The teen told local ABC affiliate KVIA-TV that he walked into class watching a soccer match on his cell phone. When the substitute teacher asked him to hand over the phone, Cobain responded, “¿Por qué?” That’s when the blonde-haired instructor told the youth to speak in English.
“I was shocked and then I got a little mad,” Cobian 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.”
According to 2018 census data, 83% percent of the population in El Paso identifies as Hispanic or Latino.
The Socorro Independent School District said it is looking into the incident.
“The incident in the video is being investigated. Appropriate action, per our employee code of conduct policies, will be taken,” officials said in a statement.
They also noted that cell phones are allowed on campus for instructional purposes but that students must first get permission from their teachers.