Idaho School District In Hot Water After ‘Insensitive And Inappropriate’ Photos Of Staff As Border Wall

In another photo put on social media by the Middleton School District, educators can be seen posing with segments of a wall emblazoned with
In another photo put on social media by the Middleton School District, educators can be seen posing with segments of a wall emblazoned with "Make America Great Again." CREDIT: Middleton School District via Facebook

BY MATT GUILHEM / BSPR

Photos of teachers wearing Halloween costumes at Middleton Heights Elementary are going viral and causing controversy.

Initially, the Middleton School District posted the Halloween photos to its official social media. In the pictures, one group of school employees are seen donning stereotypical Mexican outfits with serapes and sombreros. In another photo, a group of educators pose behind sections of what appears to be a brick wall with the phrase “Make America Great Again” spelled out across the segments. The photos have since been removed from official channels.

Employees of Middleton Heights Elementary are seen wearing sombreros, serapes and other stereotypical Mexican symbols. The photo was initially posted on the school district's official social media. CREDIT FACEBOOK

Employees of Middleton Heights Elementary are seen wearing sombreros, serapes and other stereotypical Mexican symbols. The photo was initially posted on the school district’s official social media.
CREDIT: Middleton School District via Facebook

Friday morning, Middleton School District Superintendent Dr. Josh Middleton offered an apology on Facebook Live.

“I was shown those photos and deeply troubled by the decision by our staff members to wear those costumes that are clearly insensitive and inappropriate,” Middleton said.

The superintendent stressed all students are embraced by the district and said an investigation into the costumes is underway.

Many are troubled by the photos, including J.J. Saldana, community resource specialist with the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs.

“These are educators,” Saldana says. “They’re supposed to be role models.”

He’s shocked the photos were taken in the first place.

“It took coordination, and did they not think what kind of consequences they would have?” asks Saldana. “There’s a total of what – 13 or 14 people there, and none of them thought, ‘Oh, this is a bad idea?’”

He says the apology is appreciated and hopes district-wide diversity training is undertaken.

Copyright 2018 Boise State Public Radio

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