A teacher at a Manhattan high school was fined $15,000 for saying a Spanish curse word in class. Carlos Garcia received the fine, which has now been reduced to $1,000, for uttering “c*njo” in front of his students. He has also been suspended. The teacher has denied saying the word at all and feels that even if he did, it really isn’t a big deal. Garcia and his lawyer feel the word isn’t very profane anymore. “No matter what it meant at some point, it’s now like the word ‘damn’ or ‘hell,’ ” says Garcia’s lawyer, Sergio Villaverde. Both believe that the Department of Education used an interpreter that would interpret a more profane translation of the word and context of the student’s testimony. The Department of Education claim a literal translation was provided and that with the context used, it was indeed profane. They say the word can be translated to mean the f-word or the s-word. Spanish speakers use the word to express and exclamation of some sort such as excitement or frustration—as well as meaning ‘damn’, ‘hell’, and sometimes more profane words.
The city lawyer, Gail Mulligan, says, “We are studying the decision and reviewing our options,” referring to what should be done from this point. There seems to be no need now. Carlos Garcia’s lawyer has stated that he is now teaching at a different school. Garcia seems to have had enough of the entire ordeal and is ready to move forward. “He’s ready to put this chapter in his life behind him,” his lawyer, Villarverde, said.
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