PEQUOT, SD --- In what has been announced as the first of many firings in his school district, Pequot Superintendent of Schools Pat Burn presented Spanish teacher Constanza de la Barca with a notice of termination. Burn announced Pequot High School will continue to offer a foreign language to its college-bound students, replacing Spanish with Tongues.
Pequot's entire secondary faculty has been suspended for two weeks now, following a school-wide "drunk-out" held in protest of a newly installed "C" honor roll.
Burn sees a silver lining in this crisis.
"It allowed us to be a lot more creative about the way we run our school," he said. "It also gives us a chance to bring Jesus back into the school."
Tongues, that is: Speaking in Tongues, will now be offered by life-long Pequot resident Pastor Brian Frank of Christ Anger Church. Frank downplayed the importance of Spanish.
"Most of these Mexicans - or whatever they are - they already know English, anyway. They just act like they don't. And those who really don't know, all you have to do is speak a little slower and a little louder," he said, cautioning at the same time. "But what are you going to do, if an angel of the Lord appears, and he says, ‘Ooh - loouie - loo - la - loomay - ackah - lackah.' Would you be willing to risk eternal damnation over that?"
De la Barca, speaking in the presence of her attorney, stated that she was fired because she is Hispanic, and that her participation in the protest action was merely an excuse.
"I think it's rather interesting that no one else has gotten fired yet," she said.
Burn, however, dismissed her allegations that his decision to terminate her are based on racism.
He scoffed, "If she wants to play the race card, she is de-la-barking up the wrong tree: fired is what you get for going to sleep with Jose Cuervo. As I said, there will be a lot more firings. I was simply working my way down the alphabet, and her name just happened to be at the top of the list."
De la Barca's attorney, Alvin Jacoby, pointed out that beginning with Drivers Ed teacher Otto Abernathy, three other faculty members' names alphabetically come before de la Barca.
Replied Burn, "Maybe in Mexico or Costa Rica. But in South Dakota, where everybody speaks English, the alphabet starts with D."
Burn is a former college athlete who taught himself to read and write while pursuing his Specialist in Education degree at the Wyoming School of Mining.