Photos circulating on social media showed staffers at an Idaho elementary school dressed up on Halloween as sombrero-wearing “Mexicans” and posing with a cardboard wall bearing the words “Make America Great Again,” the Idaho Statesman reported Friday.
Staff dressed up as “Mexicans” and others as a “wall” on which it said “Make America Great Again” at an ELEMENTARY SCHOOL in Idaho.
Superintendent said there was not “malicious intent.”
— Leah McElrath (@leahmcelrath) November 2, 2018
Latino students make up nearly 13 percent of the population of Middleton Heights Elementary School, located in the small town of Middleton, west of Boise. Josh Middleton, the school district’s superintendent, apologized to parents in a Facebook Live video, noting “we are better than this.” “Do I think there was a malicious intent in this poor decision? No, I don’t,” he said. “Was there a poor judgment involved? Absolutely. And we now have to own those decisions.”
The district is investigating the incident.
Since Donald Trump took office, educators and civil rights advocates have worried that the president’s rhetoric would fuel bullying and harassment against minority students in schools across the country. An investigation by Education Week and ProPublica found that most of the 472 reported incidents of hate and bias at schools between January 2015 and December 2017 were against black and Latino students, with the largest number of incidents happening the day after Trump’s election.