Gloria A. Garcia

As interviewed by Valentina G., March 16, 2015
"I remember asking kids sitting next to me, ‘What is the teacher saying? What is she saying, I don’t understand’ -- and the teacher would snap and say, ‘Remember, you’re supposed to be speaking English!’"
Gloria A. Garcia

Introductory Profile: About Gloria A. Garcia

Gloria Garcia talks about children’s rights in schools and how the teachers mistreated students of color when she was a student. Luckily, Mrs. Garcia was not terribly mistreated like some of her classmates because she was careful and didn’t want to get in trouble. In this interview, she has profound images of her childhood experiences at school and in her community. When she started attending school, Gloria was lost and confused because of her limited knowledge of English.

Mrs. Garcia is a very thoughtful and kind person. She shares in detail a lot of her childhood experiences and memories that most other people would be hesitant to talk about. Gloria was born and raised in a small town called Pearsall, TX, where she attended all of her schooling before going to college. At school, Gloria and her peers were constantly reminded that they were in America and that they needed to speak English. When she started school she only knew Spanish.

Gloria sounded relaxed and had the urge to share her memories with me. Mrs. Garcia was very polite and responded to all of my questions, adding disturbing information that I was not expecting, such as teachers putting soap in children’s mouth as punishment for speaking in Spanish in school. Gloria did not experience physical mistreatment, but she witnessed how other kids were treated poorly or unfair because of her limited English. I am fortunate that Mrs. Garcia was nice enough to share her personal story with me.