ibusinesslines.com December 15, 2018

Idaho school’s Mexican costumes, props could lead to discrimination probe

06 November 2018, 03:07 | Erica Roy

Idaho school’s Mexican costumes, props could lead to discrimination probe

Idaho school’s Mexican costumes, props could lead to discrimination probe

A group of Idaho elementary school teachers has been placed on temporary leave after dressing as Donald Trump's border wall for Halloween, the Idaho Press-Tribune reported Saturday.

About a dozen teachers at Heights Elementary School dressed up as parts of a "wall" that, when standing beside each other, read "Make America Great Again" while other staff members dressed up as stereotypical Mexicans with sombreros and ponchos.

According to the Idaho Statesman, photos of the teachers were posted to the Middleton School District's Facebook page with the caption "It was a great day to be a Heights Hawk!"

He said district administration officials are investigating the "poor decisions" that were made.

The Idaho DACA Students Facebook group denounced the Halloween costumes in a Friday morning Facebook post, shared via Elizabeth Almanza, a member of immigrant advocacy group PODER (Protecting our Dreams and Empowering Resilience) of Idaho. "No, I don't", Middleton said. "We embrace all students". "I'd just again want to share what's going on and express my sincerest and deepest apologies to our families, to our patrons". The employees also wore costumes exploiting Mexican stereotypes. Another group in a second picture was dressed up with sombreros, carrying maracas and wearing fake black mustaches, which some parents called racist.

Middleton added that while he did not think there was "malicious intent" on behalf of the teachers, he acknowledged there was "absolutely" poor judgment. "We believe the school and classrooms have now become hostile environments that are not conducive to the education of the students".

Middleton School Superintendent Dr. Josh Middleton has said he is "deeply troubled by the decision" and that the costumes were clearly insensitive and inappropriate. Nearly 13 percent of the school's population is Hispanic. Middleton School District staff is under fire for their offensive costumes, and the photos have prompted an investigation by the school district, CBS Boise affiliate KBOI reports.

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