LATINO VOICES

Man Disrupts Iowa Kindergarten Concert With 'English Only' Chant

04/27/2015 10:31 am ET | Updated Apr 27, 2015

A kindergarten concert in Iowa was suddenly interrupted last week when a man started shouting, "USA, English only. USA, English only."

According to KCCI-TV, the incident occurred Thursday at a performing arts center in Perry, a city located roughly 40 miles northwest of Des Moines.

Concertgoer Juan Jose Ordonez Deleon provided a short video of the man's outburst, which Deleon calls a "hate crime," to ThePerryNews.com.

The 12-second video shows an unidentified man being escorted out of an auditorium by security personnel, while he repeatedly chants, "USA, English only. USA, English only," and shakes his fist in the air.

The man responsible for the disruption reportedly started bellowing the chant when a translator began repeating the event host's opening remarks in Spanish.

"I've never heard anything like that and it just hurt me really bad," Sara Benedict, whose son was in the concert, told KCCI-TV.

The concert was held by students from Perry Elementary School, which the Iowa Department of Education estimates has about a 50 percent Hispanic or Latino student population.

Superintendent M. Lynn Ubben sent an email about the incident to the school's staff on Friday.

"We live in a diverse/people rich community that values all people and our children truly are our most precious resource," Ubben wrote, according to The Des Moines Register. "As our elementary music instructor so eloquently said, 'Our children don't see color, they just see their friends.'"

The newspaper reported no charges have been filed against the man responsible for the outburst. However, an investigation by the Perry Police Department is reportedly still underway.

"It doesn't matter what color our skin is or what language we speak, you know," Benedict told KCCI-TV. "We're all the same people."

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