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Teachers' border wall costume receives backlash

Teachers at Middleton Heights Elementary School in Middleton, Idaho, are under investigation by the school district after dressing up as a wall with the phrase "Make America Great Again."

Posted: Nov 4, 2018 5:54 PM
Updated: Nov 4, 2018 6:06 PM

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

That's exactly what a group of staff members discovered at an elementary school in Middleton, Idaho.

Pictures, which were posted on the Middleton School District Facebook page but have since been deleted, showed the group dressed up as a wall with the phrase "Make America Great Again" on it. Another group in a second picture was dressed up with sombreros, carrying maracas and wearing fake black mustaches, which some parents called racist.

The pictures have now been replaced with an apology video from district Superintendent Josh Middleton, who called the costumes "clearly insensitive and inappropriate."

"We are better than this, we embrace all students who have a responsibility to teach and reach all students," he said.

There was probably no malicious intent, he said, just poor judgment -- adding that the district will be conducting an investigation.

"We now have to own those decisions," he said. "I'd just again want to share what's going on and express my sincerest and deepest apologies to our families, to our patrons."

Beth Almanza, an immigrant rights advocate with the Idaho DACA Students group called the photos "extremely disheartening" and "heartbreaking."

"Imagine how some of the students felt when they walked into their classrooms on Halloween and saw their teachers (people they look up to) dressed like this?" she posted. "Students deserve better."

According to data compiled by Idaho Ed Trends, almost 13% of the school's population is Hispanic.

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