Fourteen staff members employed by an Idaho school district have been placed on administrative leave after donning controversial costumes.
On Friday, photos of Middleton Heights Elementary staff wearing Halloween costumes depicting a border wall that read “Make America Great Again,” along with other teachers dressed in stereotypical Mexican outfits, surfaced on social media.
The photos, which were initially posted on the school district’s Facebook page on Thursday night, caused outrage, but have since been deleted.
The Middleton School District school board released a statement saying that “type of behavior” is not tolerated in their schools.
“This situation is being taken very seriously,” the statement read. “We are in full support of our superintendent and administrative staff as a full investigation is being conducted, and are awaiting the results of the investigation. This is an unfortunate incident of very poor judgment. Yet it is not indicative of the Middleton School District or our teachers as a whole.”
The costumes were part of a “team building” activity after school hours, according to the district.
The district’s superintendent, Dr. Josh Middleton, also took to social media in a video on Friday to apologize.
“I was shown those photos and [was] deeply troubled by the decision by our staff members to wear those costumes that are clearly insensitive and inappropriate,” Middleton said.
A local resident attended the Saturday meeting and said she was shocked at the photos.
“I would think our kids would be safe at a public school,” Genesis Gomez-Lara told the Idaho Press. “But it doesn’t feel like it.”