Part of Halloween’s allure is that once a year, everyone gets to live out their hidden fantasies, act silly, and get free candy. But for a group of elementary school teachers in Idaho, those fantasies apparently include mocking Mexicans and dressing up as Donald Trump’s nonexistent border wall.
As you might imagine, the stunt didn’t go over well, and the
superintendent of Middleton School District has
since apologized. But that doesn’t negate the fact that no one in this
group of teachers from Heights Elementary School had a second thought
about the message their behavior would send to their students—and the world, for
Welcome to Donald Trump’s America, where racism has become
so overt and blatant that so-called teachers openly appear to celebrate
Middleton School District, near Boise, posted pictures of
the teachers in their ridiculous costumes on Facebook. One photo shows the staff
dressed in their best approximation of what they likely think Mexicans look
like, probably gleaned from too many margaritas at some crappy Mexican
restaurant chain. The teachers look ridiculous in their oversized sombreros and
Another photo shows six people dressed as various patriotic characters,
including the Statue of Liberty, and holding pieces of a cardboard border wall
with the words “Make America Great Again” written across the front.
The pictures have since been deleted from the school
district’s Facebook page, and Superintendent Josh Middleton called the costumes
“clearly insensitive and inappropriate,” according to CNN.
“We are better than this, we embrace all students [and] have
a responsibility to teach and reach all students,” he said.
School district officials will now investigate the matter,
which Middleton thinks was a case of bad judgment rather than malicious intent,
The Idaho Education Association, however, recommended diversity
and cultural competency training.
“The events that took place at Heights Elementary School in
Middleton on Halloween are disturbing and inappropriate. The teachers involved,
as well as school administrative personnel, and the Middleton School District
showed extremely poor judgment,” the association said in a statement on Facebook.
It added: “The IEA and the Middleton Education Association
stand ready, willing, and able to assist the district in providing diversity
and cultural competency training for Middleton School District employees. As
troubling as the situation is, it does provide us with an opportunity for
education and growth so that people can be made more aware of how hurtful these
kinds of insensitive behaviors can be.”
Local immigrant rights advocate Beth Almanza called the school’s
Halloween fiasco “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 wrote on Facebook. “This is NOT funny. This is
heartbreaking. Students deserve better.”