Spring Branch Mom Can't Register Her Kids For School -- Because They Speak English

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Kelly Martinez can't find an elementary school in the Spring Branch Independent School District for her two sons – ages 6 and 4 – because they don't speak Spanish.

Edgewood Elementary, Martinez's zoned school, is 95 percent Hispanic, and last week a school official told her that the school didn't offer "mainstream" classes but classes with a goal of teaching "as much English as possible," according to Martinez. Her youngest son didn't qualify for the pre-kindergarten class because he doesn’t speak Spanish.

"[The school's principal] was positive there would be English instruction, and the only difference would be that the other children have brown skin," Martinez says. "That's not an issue, I have brown skin, but the language is still an issue." (Update: Martinez notes in the comments that it was a school official who said this, not the prinicipal.)

On Monday when school started, Martinez took her sons to the neighboring Cedar Brook Elementary, which has classes for both her sons with English as the first language. She filled out transfer papers but was told today that Cedar Brook didn't have extra space for her sons, who have sat out the first three days of school. The suggestion from the district is to split up the boys, one at Edgewood and the other at an off-campus pre-kindergarten center.

The school district sent Hair Balls a statement that read, "Ms. Martinez was asked and encouraged last Friday to schedule a meeting with the Edgewood Elementary principal. We are happy to report today that a meeting on the campus of Edgewood Elementary has been planned and confirmed."

According to the statement, Edgewood operates mainstream and bilingual kindergarten classes. The pre-kindergarten class was not addressed.

Cedar Brook would be the ideal location, Martinez says, but she'll enroll her sons at different locations if she has to.

"The principal has the final say on who goes there, and I guess that's not me," Martinez says.

-- Paul Knight

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.