Moral Low Ground

Civil Liberties

Controversial Spanish-Language Signs Removed from Delaware Playgrounds

whites only sign Delaware

Spanish-language signs posted at playgrounds near Delaware elementary schools that were considered the equivalent of ‘whites only’ signs are now being removed.

One of the offending signs was spotted at Lulu Ross Elementary School in Milford. It says, in English: “PARENTAL OR GUARDIAN SUPERVISION IS REQUIRED FOR THE USE OF THIS PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT. PLAY AT YOUR OWN RISK.” Then, below that in Spanish, it reads: “USTEDES DEBE TENER UN PERMISO PARA JUGAR EN ESTE CAMPO. VIOLADORES SERAN SUSCEPTIBLES A ACCION POLICIAL.”

Translation: “You must have a permit to play here. Violators may face police action.”

‘Delaware Dem,’ a blogger at the Daily Kos, verified that the sign was in fact real and not Photoshopped.

“So, if you are a white, English-speaking ‘American,’ you can play here at your own risk so long as you have a parent or guardian watching,” Delaware Dem wrote. “If you are brown, if you dare play here without a permit we will arrest your immigrant ass.”

Delaware Dem says there are “multiple offending signs” at playgrounds in the area, which is home to many Latino families. Sussex County is the most conservative county in Delaware. At other playgrounds in the predominantly white parts of Milford, no such signs were found. At least one sign was spotted in which the “permit/police” warning was posted in both English and Spanish.

According to the Wilmington News Journal, conservative radio talk host Dan Gaffney originally noticed the offending sign at Mispillion Elementary School and posted a photo of it on his Facebook page.

The News Journal also reports that Milford School District Superintendent Dr. Phyllis Kohel immediately ordered the removal of the signs upon learning of them.

“I didn’t want to wait,” Dr. Kohel said, adding that she could not explain the discrepancy in the messages on the signs, which were installed before she was superintendent.

“I certainly assume there was not an attempt to discriminate,” she told the News Journal. “We have a great working relationship with all of the communities at the school and there is absolutely an understanding that no ethnic group will be discriminated upon.”

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3 Comments

  1. JMAmaralJanuary 6, 2013 at 3:45 pmReply

    What the sign reads is: You must secure permission to play on the field or face police action. If anything this is a poorly written sign.

  2. ericdbJanuary 6, 2013 at 4:35 pmReply

    They have already found many English signs that say the same thing. It was a mistake. When you WANT to believe the worst first, not only are you usually wrong, you are prabably part of the worst.

  3. guestMarch 11, 2013 at 2:35 pmReply

    Well, they could at least get the Spanish right.

    “Ustedes DEBEN tener”

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