BISCO director weighs in on ‘English only’ proposal

Session aimed at educating public about Asian insect
July 16, 2008
Roland Joseph Lafont Sr.
July 18, 2008
Session aimed at educating public about Asian insect
July 16, 2008
Roland Joseph Lafont Sr.
July 18, 2008

Dear Editor:

Imagine my surprise when I began to receive e-mails from all over the country asking me, “What’s going on in Terrebonne Parish?”

I am referring to the recent “English Only” consideration being made by the Terrebonne Parish School Board for valedictorian speeches.

You see, we in BISCO are very proud to be a diverse group with a multi-cultural, multi-racial, multi-faith, multi-issue background.

We have been asked to travel throughout the country to talk about our region’s issues since the storms of 2005, especially of our coastal restoration and environmental issues.

We always share about our diverse communities and ask folks to support us in our recovery and restoration process.

These same folks, who are going to bat for us with their own national senators and representatives, want to know what’s going on that we could be so insensitive to each others’ rights to share our own cultures. They want to know what BISCO can do to address this.

I have read with interest the many letters to the editors and agree with their interpretations of the need, so I will not reiterate them here. I felt I had to let the school board and the public know that this news has gone way beyond our own communities.

I have heard from folks from California to Washington, D.C. We certainly need to be in the news, but not in this negative light.

Let’s please honor each others’ culture and diversity.

Why not honor those students who had to have the most difficult times learning two languages and still managed to climb to the top of their classes?

Let’s recognize their accomplishments and allow them to honor their families who have indeed sacrificed to see their children through to this time in their lives, by speaking to them in the language they understand.

I too, know the effects of not learning the French language because my grandparents were punished for speaking it in school.

I thought we had moved along much farther than that.

Let’s please show the world that we have.


Sharon Gauthe

BISCO Director, Thibodaux