“Middleton School District Superintendent Josh Middleton announced Saturday morning at a special school board meeting that employees involved in controversial Halloween photos circulating on social media have been placed on administrative leave,” as the Idaho Statesman is reporting.
“After Superintendent Middleton’s announcement, the board went into executive session. He also announced that a member of the district’s crisis team would be taking over day-to-day principal duties at Middleton Heights for the time being.
“On Friday, photos of Middleton Heights Elementary staff donning Halloween costumes that portrayed a border wall that says ‘Make America Great Again’ and stereotyped Mexicans emerged on social media. The photos, which were posted on the school district’s Facebook page, went viral.
“Following an uproar online, Superintendent Middleton posted a video response on Facebook on Friday morning. As of this writing the video, as well as the entire district Facebook page, has been taken down.
“’We are better than this,’ he said in the video. ‘We embrace all students. We have a responsibility to teach and reach all students — period.’
“Several advocacy groups and nonprofits, including the ACLU of Idaho and Immigrant Justice Idaho, denounced the photos in a letter to Superintendent Middleton on Friday afternoon, per previous Statesman reporting.
“The intent or misjudgments of the individuals involved does not undo the trauma experienced by students, families and communities,” the letter said. ‘The impact on these students does not stay only with them but has lasting effects beyond the school or classroom. We believe the school and classrooms have now become hostile environments that are not conducive to the education of the students.’
“According to data from the U.S census, Middleton has a Latino population of 9.5 percent, while Middleton Heights Elementary is 12.9 percent Hispanic/Latino, according to Idaho Ed Trends.
“The pictures and subsequent backlash come as the Nov. 6 midterm elections approach, where immigration is a theme. President Donald Trump has said, ‘I don’t want them in this country,’ in regards to a caravan of migrants coming up through Mexico toward the U.S. border, saying the goal of the caravan is to ‘invade.’
“Superintendent Middleton also announced on Saturday that additional measures would be taken in the coming days, including increased safety, additional staff training as well as an ongoing investigation.”
The rest of the article is here.
(Photo: Idaho Statesman)