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Father ordered to curb Spanish use with child
October 15, 2003

PAPILLION, Neb. - A Hispanic man who spoke to his 5-year-old daughter in Spanish has been ordered to use primarily English around the girl as a condition of his visitation rights.

Sarpy County Judge Ronald E. Reagan said the child does not understand Spanish, and her father should speak to her in the language she knows.

Eloy Amador, who was released from jail seven months ago after serving a five-year sentence for drug possession, told the judge that he spoke Spanish to the girl to share his culture, not to force a language on her.

"I don't come to her speaking in Spanish, but there are times where I try to teach her what hair is in Spanish, what hand is, stuff like that," Amador said during a Sept. 15 hearing on visitation.

The judge did not oppose such instruction, but said the rest of the communication should be in English for the sake of the girl's education.

"The principal form of communication during the periods of visitation is going to be English," Reagan said. "That does not mean that you can't instruct and teach her the Hispanic language."

Michaela Krayneski, 26, said she isn't opposed to her daughter, Destinie, being bilingual. Her concern is for the overall well-being of the child she raised while the father was behind bars five years for selling drugs and possessing a weapon.

The mother said Destinie became frightened after Amador placed her in unfamiliar territory.

"He was making her call him 'Dad' in Spanish," Krayneski said. "She didn't want to speak that language. It was too fast. She didn't understand. He made her eat Spanish food. He told her that her soon-to-be father (Krayneski's fiance) was not her father."

Krayneski said her daughter was unaware of her other heritage. "You can't tell she's Hispanic. The only thing is she has brown eyes. She looks just like me, she does not look like him."

Her preference is that Amador bow out of the child's life.