Idaho school employees who wore costumes of President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall and outfits depicting Mexicans have petitions for and against them.
A Change.org petition, “Save our Middleton Teachers, Staff, and Principal!!,” has nearly 17,000 signatures as of Wednesday morning. A competing petition on MoveOn.org, “No Racism in Middleton School District,” has almost 13,000 signatures against the Middleton Heights Elementary School staff.
The 14 staff members involved with the incident were placed on administrative leave Saturday after screenshots of the school employees wearing politically charged costumes went viral. The pictures were originally posted on the school’s Facebook page Thursday night, but were taken down. (RELATED: Border Wall Costume Leads To Administrative Leave For 14 School Employees)The outfits were allegedly part of a “team-building activity” to see who could most accurately portray a country based on stereotypes, a Facebook post claimed, according to the Idaho Press. Board of Trustees Chairman Tim Winkle confirmed the information from the post.
“Unfortunately, the photos were very controversial,” the pro-Middleton petition read. “However, we believe its been blown out of proportion, as this was a team building exercise done after school with no students present or involved. We fully believe in our staff at Middleton Heights and don’t feel that this should cost the men and women involved their jobs and cause further stress to our children.”
The petition against the school employees’ actions believed the incident was a “gross display of dehumanization of Latinx children.”
One of the counter petition’s demands is to change school environment and its culture.
“Identify school wide approaches to provide awareness and consciousness of systemic racism through culturally relevant curriculum, policy change, review of hiring practices, and district wide training,” the counter petition said.
Middleton Heights Elementary is made up of about 13 percent of Hispanic students, according to Idaho Ed Trends.
The costume incident comes during a time when Trump has taken hard stances against illegal immigration, including a consideration to shut down the border as a large group of caravan migrants travel from Central America to the U.S. hoping to get asylum.
Middleton School District did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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