Legal and Ethical Issues

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Legal and Ethical Issues
In 1974 a case was brought to the Supreme Court on behalf of Chinese American students in San Francisco “Lau vs. Nichols.” The court made a ruling based on the admission that minority student’s failure is the difference in culture and language. This case was regarding the San Francisco school system failing to provide students who do not speak English with the appropriate supplement instruction, which violated the students’ Fourteenth Amendment. As long the schools are receiving Federal funds, they must eliminate discrimination “based on the ground of race, color, or national origin, in any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance". (Thomson Reuters business, 2010).

The other case regarding legal and ethical issues confronting the Education of English Language Learners is the case of “Plyler vs. Doe, 1982.” Texas denied funding to students who are not legally American citizen and was charging $1000.00 for each illegal immigrant. In this case the Supreme Court ruled that school districts are not authorized to deny enrollment to students regardless of citizenship status. By doing so, the court protected those students’ Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Schools are not allowed to ask students certain question dealing with the immigration status, but they can ask other question to qualify them to certain immigrant programs “Federal education programs may ask for information from parents and students to determine if students are eligible for various programs, such as Emergency Immigrant Education”. (National Coalition of Advocates for Students, 2010).

We can wonder how schools meet the needs of the ELL students without breaking state laws. I believe some programs can be put in place to help non English-speaking students. Afterschool programs and tutoring with the assistance of the school and teachers will be a good approach. The periodic testing offered by certain states was designed to see the...
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