White teachers at an Idaho school came to class dressed in sombreros and serapes, or as segments of a “border wall” that said “Make America Great Again,” but are facing only paid leave — not firing or unpaid suspension — after the school superintendent decided their intentions weren’t malignant enough.
The fact that these elementary school teachers thought this would be okay demonstrates how much more cultural competence training is needed in education. https://t.co/dkOfDt8XGz
— Kevin Nadal, Ph.D. (@kevinnadal) November 2, 2018
“Do I think there was a malicious intent with this decision? No, I don’t,” said Superintendent Josh Middleton. “Was there poor judgment involved? Absolutely. And we now have to own those decisions.”
Superintendent Middleton apologized to families served by the school, saying “we embrace all students.”
A dozen advocacy groups, including the ACLU of Idaho, disagree, and have written a letter to Middleton. “We believe the school and classrooms have now become hostile environments that are not conducive to the education of the students,” the letter states.
Middleton is 9.5 percent Latino, and 12.9 percent of Middleton Heights Elementary students are Hispanic/Latino, according to the Idaho Statesman.