Idaho Elementary School Staff Wearing A Border Wall Costume Draws Criticism And Accusations Of Racism
The words "Make America Great Again" were emboldened on the front of the "costume."
November 05, 2018 at 5:55 pm
An Idaho school district apologized to Hispanic families after insensitive photos depicting staff as Mexicans and a border wall appeared online.
The now-deleted photos were posted on the Middleton School District Facebook page around Halloween, Idaho Press reports.
Two photos, in particular, have drawn the most criticism. In one, several Middleton Heights Elementary School staff are dressed as Mexicans with thick black mustaches, sombreros and maracas. In the other, staff members are dressed as sections of a border wall with the words "Make America Great Again" on the front.
Superintendent Josh Middleton deemed the costumes "insensitive and inappropriate." Estimates indicate the district has a Hispanic population of 13 percent.
“I was shown the photos and am deeply troubled by the decision by staff members to wear costumes that clearly are insensitive and inappropriate regardless of the context,” Superintendent Middleton said.
“On behalf of the Middleton School District, I share sincerest apologies for these insensitive actions and offending our families and patrons. Again, we are better than this.”
According to news outlet WDSU, Middleton is investigating the matter. Critics have mentioned the clear Trumpian view of Hispanic populations in the country. Juan J. Saldaña from the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs said these photos further alienate parents and children who are affected by the Trump administration.
“Hispanic parents, a lot of them and especially non-English speaking parents, already feel intimidated going into the school,” Saldaña said. “And how does that make students feel? They get it from students, and now they’re getting it from teachers, too.”
Immigrant rights advocate Beth Almanza called the photos "extremely disheartening" and "heartbreaking."
"Imagine how some of the students felt when they walked into their classrooms on Halloween and saw their teachers (people they look up to) dressed like this?" she posted. "Students deserve better."
President Donald Trump has increased his attacks on Democrats and immigrants as Election Day draws nearer. Racially insensitive ads and rallies riled his base. Just last week, he initiated a new debate on birthright citizenship, claiming to do away with the policy with an executive order.
This latest incident is indicative of the popularity of his racist and xenophobic views.
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