Teachers in border wall Halloween costumes put on leave

Elementary school staff dressed as border wall, Mexicans. Now they’re under investigation | The Fresno Bee

Elementary school staff dressed as border wall, Mexicans. Now they’re under investigation | The Fresno Bee

Incorporating President Donald Trump's border wall into a Halloween costume is questionable at best - especially if you're an elementary school teacher.

Several photos of teachers' Halloween costumes were shared on the Middleton School District Facebook page. They've launched an investigation into the incident, and plan to hold sensitivity training for all district staff, the Press-Tribune reported.

The Idaho Statesman reports that 12 Idaho-based advocacy groups and nonprofits, including the ACLU of Idaho and Immigrant Justice Idaho, sent a letter to the district's superintendent on Friday expressing concerns over the costumes. "We embrace all students", Dr. Josh Middleton said in a Facebook live video Friday morning. "The messages conveyed are the antithesis of the beliefs and values of the Idaho Education Association and its dedicated members throughout the state". Adults would whisper to me that those men were from Northern Idaho, not Southwest Idaho, which is where Middleton, Idaho is, but as the Middleton School District reminded us this Halloween season, Southwest Idaho has no problem being openly racist. "We have a responsibility to teach and reach all students".

"We are better than this", he added. He said he only became aware of the staff costumes when a parent contacted him on Thursday, offering his "sincerest and deepest apologies". Was there poor judgement involved? CNN published another photo that's since been deleted showing other staff in stereotypical Mexican costumes with sombreros, maracas, and exaggerated black mustaches.

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The photos were taken down from the Facebook page, but once screenshots began to circulate, the backlash began.

'I'm deeply troubled by the decision by our staff members to wear those costumes that are clearly insensitive and inappropriate. Idaho DACA Students' Facebook page also posted the photos, noting that the costumes are disheartening, heartbreaking and not amusing.

He continued: "Do I think there was a malicious intent in these poor decisions?" Nearly 13 percent of the school's population is Hispanic.

Twelve percent of the school's 563 students are a minority with the majority Hispanic, according to Public Schools Review.

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