Idaho Teachers Dressed As “Mexicans” and a “Wall” for Halloween

“Was there a poor judgment involved? Absolutely.”

Photos circulating on social media showed staffers at an Idaho elementary school dressed up on Halloween as sombrero-wearing “Mexicans” and posing with a cardboard wall bearing the words “Make America Great Again,” the Idaho Statesman reported Friday. 

Latino students make up nearly 13 percent of the population of Middleton Heights Elementary School, located in the small town of Middleton, west of Boise. Josh Middleton, the school district’s superintendent, apologized to parents in a Facebook Live video, noting “we are better than this.” “Do I think there was a malicious intent in this poor decision? No, I don’t,” he said. “Was there a poor judgment involved? Absolutely. And we now have to own those decisions.”

The district is investigating the incident.

Since Donald Trump took office, educators and civil rights advocates have worried that the president’s rhetoric would fuel bullying and harassment against minority students in schools across the country. An investigation by Education Week and ProPublica found that most of the 472 reported incidents of hate and bias at schools between January 2015 and December 2017 were against black and Latino students, with the largest number of incidents happening the day after Trump’s election. 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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