WESTMINSTER (CBSLA.com) — A Vietnamese textbook has been removed from the language curriculum at a Westminster middle school in response to backlash from parents.
The textbook “Let’s Speak Vietnamese” and corresponding workbook was pulled from Warner Middle School’s seventh- and eighth-grade curriculum, according to the Westminster School District.
The book contains a reprint of a document bearing a communist stamp, as well as discussing travel to the communist country
In response, parents in the Little Saigon community voiced concern over what they deemed pro-Communist wording inappropriate for the classroom.
“The emblem is the reason why many of them escaped the country in the first place,” parent Long Nguyen told CBS2/KCAL9’s Michele Gile. His niece attends the middle school. “Again, it represents communism, and it goes against everything that people in democracy fight for.”
Westminster’s Mayor Tri Ta, whose daughter is enrolled at Warner, also pushed for the book’s removal.
Assistant Superintendent Owen Crosby released a statement that read in part: “Westminster High School in the Huntington Beach Union High School District has used ‘Let’s Speak Vietnamese’ in classes for eight years.”
According to Superintendent Marian Kim-Phelps, the textbook is still being used at Westminster High School and is used to teach Vietnamese at several colleges, such as UCLA, Cornell University and Columbia University. She also points out that before the class began this year, Vietnamese instructors and parents reviewed the material and took no issue with it.
Kim-Phelps stresses, however, that they are sensitive to the presented concerns and cultural needs from families within the community. She says the district has contacted the book’s publisher for a review of the questionable material.
The district says it will hold a meeting to select new reading materials for the fall semester.
Gile was unable to reach authors Le Pham Thuy-Kim and Nguyen Bich Thuan for comment Friday.