Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Hmong Community Tells Clovis Schools Trustees: Don't Cancel Our Language Classes
By admin
Published 11 months ago on
August 17, 2023

Share

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

More than 100 parents, students, and community activists — many wearing traditional Hmong clothing and necklaces — implored the Clovis Unified School Board on Wednesday not to allow the cancellation of Hmong language elective classes at Buchanan and Clovis high schools this fall.

Concerns arose when the former teacher, Vicky Xiong-Lor, resigned after a 25-year career to teach at Fresno State and the district made no move to replace her.

Xiong-Lor had been splitting her teaching time between Buchanan and Clovis high schools, working part-time at each school.

Clovis East, which has a sizable population of Hmong students, has a full-time Hmong language teacher.

Students told the School Board about how the language classes had given them the fluency to be able to speak with older relatives. In addition, they are able to learn more about what their parents and grandparents endured in their journey to America from southeast Asia, where the Hmong sided with U.S. forces against the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War.

It’s an equity issue as well as an educational issue, said Katie Moua, director of Hmong Innovating Politics, a Sacramento-based nonprofit.

“By canceling these courses and not fully investing in them, Clovis Unified is doing a large disservice to the whole community,” Moua said.

“It is really disappointing to see a school district that benefits from Hmong students and families so easily cancel our Hmong classes and spaces for students to not only learn about the language but to engage in learning about Hmong culture and history. The move to cancel these Hmong language classes is inequitable and further perpetuates the historical trauma we face as a refugee community.”

Classes Not Canceled

After hearing the public comment, Superintendent Corrine Folmer reassured the audience that the district isn’t canceling the classes and is in the process of finding Xiong-Lor’s replacement.

She started out by apologizing that the district had not done a good enough job communicating “about how we staff and assess our elective offerings at the high school level, and I commit that we will do better about that.”

But Folmer noted that the students and parents could give the elective classes a boost if more students registered for them to reflect the interest that was obvious at Wednesday’s School Board meeting.

“You being here tonight indicates that there may be a greater need than what is coming forward through our registration process,” she said.

Hmong is not the only elective language with a teacher’s time split between two schools, she said. That’s also happening with Chinese language classes.

Adjusting Class Schedules

The district continues to review student interest, district resources, and scheduling when evaluating courses, Folmer said. And to make sure that students at one school don’t have to wait in another teacher’s classroom for the arrival of their Hmong language teacher, the district will schedule Hmong classes at one school in the morning and the other school in the afternoon, she said.

Clovis Unified did not hire Xiong-Lor’s replacement immediately because it was following a process that’s been in effect for some time after a teacher leaves, which is to conduct an analysis on whether to hire someone full-time, part-time, or discontinue a class, district spokeswoman Kelly Avants said.

“That process took place over summer and included reviewing the number of requests we had at the two schools for Hmong language classes from students during our early spring registration,” Avants said. “We had a low number of requests that required further discussion that concluded with the decision to hire for the position with the intent to also develop a plan to encourage interest in the classes in the future.”

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

Young Republicans on Why Their Party Isn’t Reaching Gen Z (And What They Can Do About It)

DON'T MISS

JD Vance Puts the Con in Conservatism

DON'T MISS

UC Merced Finally Annexed Into City Limits After Two Decades

DON'T MISS

Donors Challenged Fresno Pacific to Match Their $1.5M Gift. Was the Goal Reached?

DON'T MISS

Garlic, Curry, Fresh Corn – Would You Scream for This Ice Cream?

DON'T MISS

Meet Po: A Gentle Superhero Looking for a Home

DON'T MISS

Largest Housing Provider for Migrant Children Engaged in Pervasive Sexual Abuse, US Says

DON'T MISS

25 Million Watched Trump’s Speech at the RNC on Thursday

DON'T MISS

City Wants Hard Reset on Art Hop. Don’t Expect Food Trucks or Vendors in August.

DON'T MISS

More Victims Come Forward in Dinuba Sex Assault Case

UP NEXT

Donors Challenged Fresno Pacific to Match Their $1.5M Gift. Was the Goal Reached?

UP NEXT

Ten Commandments Won’t Go in Louisiana Classrooms Until at Least November as Lawsuit Plays Out

UP NEXT

University of California Regents Ban Political Statements on University Online Homepages

UP NEXT

Challengers, Incumbents File Early in Fresno-Area School Board Races

UP NEXT

Clovis Unified Bond Measure Would Modernize 67-Year-Old School, Complete Brand-New Campus

UP NEXT

Southern California School District Sues Gov. Newsom Over New Gender-Identity Law

UP NEXT

Your Fresno Address Will Determine If a Yes Vote for a School Bond Raises Your Taxes

UP NEXT

Fresno Unified Provides Immunizations, Sports Physicals for Students

UP NEXT

Fresno Unified’s Early Registration for Elementary School Kids Is Underway

UP NEXT

FUSD Interim Supt. Misty Her Unveils 100-Day Plan for Improved Learning

Donors Challenged Fresno Pacific to Match Their $1.5M Gift. Was the Goal Reached?

22 hours ago

Garlic, Curry, Fresh Corn – Would You Scream for This Ice Cream?

22 hours ago

Meet Po: A Gentle Superhero Looking for a Home

22 hours ago

Largest Housing Provider for Migrant Children Engaged in Pervasive Sexual Abuse, US Says

1 day ago

25 Million Watched Trump’s Speech at the RNC on Thursday

1 day ago

City Wants Hard Reset on Art Hop. Don’t Expect Food Trucks or Vendors in August.

1 day ago

More Victims Come Forward in Dinuba Sex Assault Case

2 days ago

‘Twisters’ Is the Long-Awaited Sequel to ‘Twister.’ Where to See It in Fresno.

2 days ago

Fresno Offers Free Movie Tickets for Seniors to Beat the Heat

2 days ago

Mexican President Calls Donald Trump ‘a Friend’ and Says He’ll Warn Him Against Closing Border

2 days ago

Young Republicans on Why Their Party Isn’t Reaching Gen Z (And What They Can Do About It)

Polls show that two-thirds of voters aged 18-24 say they don’t identify with the G.O.P. We asked young Republicans why. – By The New Y...

15 hours ago

Photo of President Donald Trump
15 hours ago

Young Republicans on Why Their Party Isn’t Reaching Gen Z (And What They Can Do About It)

17 hours ago

JD Vance Puts the Con in Conservatism

19 hours ago

UC Merced Finally Annexed Into City Limits After Two Decades

22 hours ago

Donors Challenged Fresno Pacific to Match Their $1.5M Gift. Was the Goal Reached?

22 hours ago

Garlic, Curry, Fresh Corn – Would You Scream for This Ice Cream?

22 hours ago

Meet Po: A Gentle Superhero Looking for a Home

1 day ago

Largest Housing Provider for Migrant Children Engaged in Pervasive Sexual Abuse, US Says

1 day ago

25 Million Watched Trump’s Speech at the RNC on Thursday

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend