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The month of May in the District of Columbia Public Schools was both “DCPS International Month” and “Asian Pacific American
Heritage Month,” according to the events calendar the school system mailed out. In an extra-inclusive gesture, the back cover explained, in various languages, how to pick up non-English copies of the calendar at local schools. Or it tried to. The instructions in Chinese, at least, were intelligible. The Spanish instructions said, “For translations of the calendar in French, Amharic, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Chinese”—and stopped there without finishing the sentence. The Vietnamese ones contained incorrect words and said something to the effect of “Calendar of the month should be translated into French, Amharic, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Chinese, please ask in your region.” There was no Amharic or French version
at all. DCPS officials were unavailable for comment. —Joe Dempsey