Nashville sites oppose English-only effort

Dec. 28, 2008 at 1:02 PM

NASHVILLE, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- The leaders of eight Nashville universities and colleges say a proposed ban on city workers speaking any language but English is wrong.

The educational leaders said in a joint statement that the ballot initiative in the Tennessee city is "distressing" due to its likely impact on teaching and learning, The (Nashville) Tennessean reported Sunday.

"The irony of the city known as the 'Athens of the South' becoming the first major metropolitan community in America to pass 'English Only' is a distressing prospect," the group said. "As academic leaders, we are concerned about the impact -- literal and symbolic -- on our mission of teaching, learning, curing and discovering."

Nashville voters will decide the charter amendment proposal's fate Jan. 22, 2009, although early voting in the city will begin this Friday.

The Tennessean said the schools whose heads oppose the motion include Aquinas College, Belmont University, Fisk University, Lipscomb University, Meharry Medical College, Tennessee State University, Trevecca University and Vanderbilt University.

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