Debate Magazine

Arizona College Student Suspended for Wanting Classes in English

Posted on the 30 August 2013 by Eowyn @DrEowyn

AztlanMore than 3 years ago, FOTM re-published an article about the ambition of radical Chicanos (Mexican-Americans) to re-establish the mythical homeland of the Aztecs – Aztlan — in the American southwest.

Aztlan will be comprised of the states of California, Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, portions of Nevada, Utah, Colorado — which Chicano nationalists claim were stolen by the United States and must be reconquered (Reconquista) and reclaimed for Mexico.

From the looks of what happened to Terri Bennett, a 50-year-old Nursing student at Pima Community College (PCC) in Tucson, Arizona, Reconquista is right on schedule.

Pima Community College
Bennett was suspended by PCC for asking that class instruction and discussion be conducted in English — the official language of the State of Arizona according to Article 28 of the state’s Constitution.

As recounted by Dave Jolly for Godfather Politics, Bennett was assigned to a small student group of which she was the only one where English was their first language. The students were supposed to work together, but all of the others spoke Spanish instead of English and Bennett had no clue what was going on. The class was asked to fill out anonymous evaluation forms and on her form, she wrote that she would prefer that there would be no Spanish spoken in the classroom.

David Kutzler
Shortly after filling out the evaluation, Bennett found herself in a classroom where Spanish was the predominate language, including the instructions and lessons. In March 2013, she requested a meeting with David Kutzler, the Director of the Advanced Nursing Program, to talk about her difficulties and to request that classes be conducted in English.

Not only was her request denied, Kutzler suspended her. Not only was Bennett suspended, Kutzler called her a “bitch and a bigot,” accused her of “discriminating against Mexican-Americans” and then threatened to report her complaint as a violation of the college’s policies against discriminatory behavior and harassment!

The next day, Bennett was called into a meeting with other college staff. She was again accused of being discriminating against Mexican-Americans. That means if she stayed at PCC to complete her degree, she would never get a job afterwards because no faculty would recommend her. Kutzler also confronted her with anonymously-written “evaluations,” which was followed 11 days later with a formal communication from the college — a progress report stating that she had “ineffective communication skills.”

A week after, Bennett was greeted by college security upon her arrival at the campus and told that she needed to leave the campus immediately. She then received a formal letter from the college stating that, due to her “discriminatory conduct,” her “presence on College property [posed] a significant risk of disruption of education activities.”

Terri Bennett
Terri Bennett announcing her lawsuit

Dylan Smith reports for the Tucson Sentinel, July 15, 2013, that according to a lawsuit filed by Bennett’s attorney John Munger against Pima Community College, on April 22, Bennett was “physically confronted by six armed police officers when she arrived on campus … handed her suspension papers and ordered to leave the campus under threat of armed force.”

On April 29, Dr. Ann Parker, PCC’s vice president of Student Development, issued “findings and determinations” that for arguing with an instructor, complaining about Spanish speaking and intimidating behavior, Bennett is suspended from the college “until she receives counseling to improve her communication style and to learn to be less abrasive with students and instructors.”

PCC officials said that Bennett’s lawsuit “is entirely without merit” and that student-privacy laws mean they are “not able to comment specifically about Terri Bennett’s situation.” PCC Chancellor Lee Lambert also declined to comment on the specifics of Bennett’s claims but bleated in an email that the college is committed “to creating a positive learning environment for our students.”

Contact info. for Pima Community College:

Pima Community College
4905 E. Broadway Blvd.
Tucson, AZ   85709-1010
Phone: (520) 206-4500

To send a message online:

Arizona college student suspended for wanting classes in English

Lee Lambert, Chancellor of Pima Community College

Lee D. Lambert, Chancellor:

Ann Parker, VP of Student Development:

David Kutzler, Dir. of Advanced Nursing Program:


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