The costumes of Idaho elementary school staff were deemed “clearly insensitive and inappropriate.”
Teachers at an elementary school in Idaho were recently photographed dressed as the controversial border wall often referenced by President Donald Trump for Halloween. The phrase “Make America Great Again” was emblazoned across the Middleton Heights Elementary School teachers' politically-charged ensemble. In other images, the teachers were depicted clad in stereotypical Mexican garb complete with maracas, sombreros, and black mustaches.
The aforementioned photographs have been widely circulated online and become the subject of immense of backlash. Sarah Mervosh of the New York Times writes that the costume served to "[exacerbate] a racial divide in a state that is predominantly white but where Hispanic people are the largest minority group." According to the New York Times, Josh J. Middleton, superintendent of Middleton School District, has announced that the school district is investigating the incident. In a Facebook video posted on Friday, Middleton revealed, “Do I think there was a malicious intent in this poor decision? No, I don’t. Was there a poor judgment involved? Absolutely.” He went on to express feeling, “deeply troubled by the decision by our staff members to wear those costumes that are clearly insensitive and inappropriate.”
“We are better than this,” he added. “We embrace all students. We have a responsibility to teach and reach all students — period.”