by Dan Gibson
Now the question is whether anyone the things he described actually happened or not, or even if Tony Hill has actually taught a class in Glendale, like he claimed:
Tony Hill said an unusually disheartening day of substitute teaching Glendale middle-school students spurred him to write a letter to Senate President Russell Pearce.
He didn't intend for that letter to be read on the Senate floor by Sen. Lori Klein, R-Anthem, or for it to become the center of an immigration legislation debate. He didn't intend for it to become the focus of a public-records fight between Pearce and the media, or to find himself the center of media attention.
But it was, and now he is.
Hill said he wrote the letter Klein read last week, and he said every word is true. Klein did not name the author during her speech.
He said the letter was about an experience with a history and language class in a grade 4-8 public school in Glendale, but he would not name the school. Glendale Elementary School District reported it has no record of a Tony or Anthony Hill subbing in the past couple of years. Hill's employment could not be confirmed at other districts in the city by press time.
In the letter, Hill said that a majority of students in that class refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance and when asked why told him "we are Mexicans and Americans stole our land." He said "most" of the students wrote in papers that "they were in the country illegally, White Americans are racist, and that they came here for a better life."
Hill said that when he asked the students to stop speaking Spanish in class, they told him that "Americans better learn Spanish and their customs because they are taking the land back from us." He said most students refused to open the textbook, tore out pages, and threw them at each other.
Senate staff originally released the letter following a public-records request, but did not include the name of the author. Sen. Steve Gallardo, D-Phoenix, demanded during the Senate floor session Monday that the author be identified. He questioned the legitimacy of the letter.
Pearce told the media he would not release the author's name because the teacher would "probably be attacked, probably be fired."