Parent Accuses Pottsgrove French Teacher of Not Knowing French

This is probably a story we can all relate to on some level–the high school foreign language teacher who seems suspiciously inept at speaking said foreign language. Pottsgrove dad Tony DiPaolo, who speaks French, Italian, and English, filed a complaint against the local school district, alleging that his kid was being taught by a fraud.

…When his son came home speaking his “mother tongue” incorrectly, DiPaolo did what most parents would do, he went to see the teacher. However, he decided to speak to the teacher only in French. “I was horrified to hear her struggle to form her sentences and make gross grammatical errors,” DiPaolo wrote in his complaint to the state.

Actually, it turns out there’s more than one French teacher. The first one, a “very good Spanish teacher,” was filling in for a departed French teacher. Then, in January, when that one left on sabbatical, she was replaced by another one. Tony wrote her a letter, and was subsequently “much saddened to find (the new teacher) has a poor command of written French” as well. After complaining to various people, he got fed up and filed a complaint, which has now been rejected by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

DiPaolo, who indeed looks very authentically French/Italian in this picture, accused the school district of “institutionalizing mediocrity.” Hey, maybe that could be the state education department’s new motto!

[Pottstown Mercury]

  • Martin

    …”who indeed looks very authentically French/Italian in this picture” Really? Just how ethnically prejudiced are you? I wonder how you would characterize me?
    I congratulate Mr. DiPaolo on his linguistic ability, and I agree with his fight against mediocrity. Bonne chance, mon ami.

  • http://www.facebook.com/natalie.shaak Natalie Shaak

    Yet another horrible article in which you try to make a joke out of something you shouldn’t and just come off as completely ignorant. I have no idea how you are still employed by Philly mag when you blatantly stereotype people.

  • Richard Colton

    Mais oui see the French teacher’s credentials? I’m guessing a BA in French was enough to become highly qualified, and the interview process was conducted by administrators with no knowledge of the subject – common enough in under taught languages like French, Latin, German. I wouldn’t be so quick to judge the teacher though – what’s her side? Maybe her dialect was different from Tony’s. Ever watch a fake South-Philly Italian try to speak the mother tongue with a real Italian? Hysterical. ehhhh…pisan why you no pronounce the “a” in ricotta?