Cliffside Park High gives 37 students detention after protest over teacher who told class troops are “fighting for your right to speak American”

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This Cliffside Park school district says 37 students are scheduled to report for detention Saturday, days after dozens of teens walked out of class to protest a teacher's "speak American" lecture. 
The district's report does not specify what the detentions are for. However, a number of Cliffside Park High School students said Thursday that they had been called in by administrators and given punishments ranging from Saturday detentions to multi-day suspensions after their protest. 
"I feel that it was wrong," sophomore Anthony Campos said on Thursday of the punitive measures. "We've got to stand up for what we believe in."
The detention report, obtained through an Open Public Records Act request, lists 37 students as scheduled for Saturday, with none scheduled "at this time" for the two subsequent Saturdays.  
The district told The Record on Thursday that two students — a freshman and a junior — had received suspensions during the week. The reasons for those suspensions were not released.
Monday's protest stemmed from an incident caught on video in a 26-second clip, published on NorthJersey.com on Oct. 13. In it, a teacher admonishes a student to "speak American."
"Men and women are fighting. They are not fighting for your right to speak Spanish," the teacher says in the video. "They are fighting for your right to speak American."
About 50 students troubled by the outburst walked out of the Palisade Avenue school for an hour or so in the middle of the day Monday, carrying flags and chanting. 
Campos said that before the protest, school administrators — including Principal Lawrence Pinto — made an announcement over the public address system warning that there would be repercussions for students who walked out.
While the students said there were no specific, explicit threats of punishment, they understood that they would face disciplinary action if they participated in the protest.
At the Board of Education meeting this week, Superintendent Michael Romagnino said the board would make a decision on the teacher within the week. The district could not be reached Friday for an update. 

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