Photo: Carlos García
Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jaffe considered the fine “disproportionate.”
Carlos Garcia, who teaches history, was suspended and given the $15,000 fine after students complained he repeatedly used the word “Coñ*” in class, mostly, when students were disrupting the lesson.
García denies having used the word as an insult, and alleges that the misunderstanding stemmed from that particular word’s multiple meanings.
Take a word like “ass,” or an expression like “You are an ass.” Things like intent, context, intonation and the body language that accompanies the sentence, allow for a vast range of interpretations and meanings, some funny, some insulting, some having to do with donkeys.
Evidently, whoever fined Garcia 15k, has never been to Spain, Cuba or the Dominican Republic, where coñ* sprouts up every other sentence, even in a particularly passionate Sunday sermon.
“There’s such a divergent definition of it in the culture here, even among Hispanics, so the context makes all the difference,” Said Sergio Villaverde, Garcia’s lawyer. “They (school system officials) were swatting flies with a sledgehammer.”
The judge said, in reducing the fine to $1,000, she didn’t think García intended “cause fear or physical or mental distress or belittle or subject the students to ridicule,” by using the word.