Let’s be fair

Dear Editor:I want to thank Aspen Valley Hospital for its policy concerning speaking English in the workplace. I believe all the employers should follow suit. This is the United States and our language is English. It is just that simple. Our country is full of immigrants from all over the world and the only migrants that are receiving “special treatment” here in our valley are the Spanish-speaking immigrants. To me this is discrimination, clear and total, against all the other folks living here who have another native language.What about the Italians, the Irish, the Polish, the French, the Dutch, the Swiss, the German, the Chinese, and all the others who live in our country? They do not demand we learn their language. They take the time to learn English, and have succeeded. Why should it be different for only Spanish-speaking people? This is especially important in emergency situations. If you are in a dangerous situation needing to get people out of harm’s way and they cannot understand you, they are putting everyone in danger, not just themselves. Is that fair? I don’t think so.In our schools in the valley I know and have seen teachers spending more time teaching children who cannot speak English than they do teaching the English-speaking students. Often the English-speaking students are given assignments and left on their own to get it done while the Spanish students get the teacher’s attention. Is this fair to our children? I don’t think so.In attempting to be fair and embrace the Spanish we lost sight of being fair to everyone else. We risk our own safety and our children’s educational needs, and we discriminate against all the other cultures living with us.Have you looked lately at the employment ads? Bilingual is becoming more and more a necessity in getting hired for many jobs these days. Not just food and beverage, banks are even beginning to require this skill. Is this fair to the Asians, Europeans and others who come to work for us during ski season and in the summer with the music festival? Is it fair to give just one culture a better chance at jobs, and at integrating into the community?What is good for one should be good for all. So let’s just all speak English at work; let’s all make a commitment to the health and safety of everyone in our community and share one language that everyone can understand. This is not a new concept to the world and not too much to ask for.”When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Perhaps that insight is a really good one and we should keep it just that simple.Linda AdamsNew Castle