Elementary School Assignment Portrayed Mexicans as Lazy, Misogynistic
A reading assignment at Hilltop Drive Elementary School in Chula Vista has sparked outrage for its perpetuation of racist, antiquated stereotypes about Mexicans and Mexican culture.
The assignment involved Spanish idioms which, as any dual language speaker knows, can be a trap for hilarity and confusion — or in this case, downright racism.
The article, assigned to students of Hilltop Drive Elementary School in the Chula Vista Elementary School District, was meant to teach students about Mexican heritage and idioms.
Instead, some parents say, the text reflected an old and mistaken way of thinking about Mexican culture. It portrayed Mexicans as "putting off work" and men as being the king of the house, they said.
"It said that we are lazy, that the woman has no opinion, that the man is the king," Angelica Guerrero told Telemundo 20 in Spanish.
A screenshot of the assignment provided by NBC 7 shows some of the more bizarre passages from the assignment, such as the following:
One can see in this idiom how [Mexican] men are considered the ‘head honcho’ or ‘hefe’ within the family. Women are forever giving in to what their husbands need or want. Children must also always answer to the head male in the family.
Completely beside the point but also worth mentioning is how terrible the English grammar/punctuation is on this thing.
Some parents who complained also said it got some Spanish expressions flat wrong.
"There is a sentence in the article that says, 'Do not do today what you can do tomorrow' and that's wrong," according to Guerrero. "The correct saying is, 'Do not leave for tomorrow what you can do today,'" said Angelica.
Pretty big difference.
The Chula Vista Elementary School District has said it remains sensitive to the concerns and is currently looking into the matter.