What is happening to our world? Last week at Middleton Heights Elementary School in Middleton, Idaho, a group of elementary school teachers made a distasteful and racist choice in Halloween costumes. Some of them dressed up as stereotypical Mexicans and the others dressed up as the Mexican border wall which read, Make America Great Again.
These are elementary school teachers, they’re responsible to help form young children’s views and perceptions of the world, which is why it’s depressing to think of the example that these teachers set for so many young children, that day, in their school.
Even if this was just an act of “poor judgement” as superintendent, Dr. Josh Middleton said in a FB video. It’s unacceptable! These are teachers, and they should be held to a higher standard because they work with elementary school aged children and have an impactful influence on them.
In a classroom setting, teachers tower over and teach young children what is right, wrong, and acceptable behavior. And as young children with innocent minds, they believe them! That’s the scary part in this particular scenario.
These teachers sent out a hateful and racist message, “It’s okay to hate, to make fun of, and to be racist”.
Is that what our children should believe?
Someone should sit these teachers down and school them on bullying, how racism divides us, ruins us, and consumes so much of our energy. Maybe then they’ll learn to make so called “better judgement calls” in the future. Now get ready for this.
They’re Coming Back? What?!
Just a few days after this insensitive incident, the 14 school teachers who were placed on paid administrative leave, will be returning to class any day. And many parents are in support of this decision. An online petition supporting these school teachers gathered more than 9,000 signatures in less than 24 hours.
On a positive note, there are over 13,000 people who have supported another petition against inappropriate acts like this one. A petition that demands a school environment transformation, read it here.
So, what was said and what was done?
A statement was made on Wednesday, November 7th 2018, read it here. A district review took place, it’s findings per the statement:
“It is important to note that after the district’s review, it has been validated that there is nothing more than love and commitment in the hearts of these teachers and aides.”
There was also a meeting held with executive director of the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs, Margie Gonzalez, to address future trainings for the school district. And on Wednesday, all Middleton School District staff took part in a cultural sensitivity training, provided by Middleton Education Association and the Idaho Education Association.
That’s it! After a delicate hand slap, these 14 teachers are going to be welcomed back into the classroom. Middleton School District’s goal is “Every Student Learning Every Day.” But what racist outlook on the world are you teaching them?
Monica Luna Gonzalez
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