US school punishes student for speaking aboriginal language-Raw Story

March 5, 2012

Catholic diocese sorry after punishing girl for speaking native language

David Edwards

Raw Story: March 1, 2012


The Catholic Diocese of Green Bay has apologized after punishing a 12-year-old girl for speaking her Native American language at Sacred Heart Catholic School in Shawano, Wisconsin.

Miranda Washinawatok explained to WGBA that she wasn’t allowed to play in one basketball game after she spoke in her native Menominee language to two students in her 7th grade class.

“It means I love you,” Washinawatok said, recalling that her teacher, Julie Gurta, reacted with anger.

“She sort of threw her hands down on her desk and said don’t be talking like that. How would you like it if I started talking Polish?”

On Wednesday, the Green Bay Press Gazette revealed that while Gurta “did not accept blame for her actions,” the diocese had apologized for “a breakdown of communication.”

“It is our hope that with greater awareness, we can begin to repair any harm that has been caused, and be able to build new and improved relationships,” Director of Education Joseph Bound wrote in a statement.


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