CBS Philly / YouTube Idaho School District Faces Backlash After 1541333582.jpg...
CBS Philly / YouTube

In what can only be described as evidence of having the worst judgment possible, staff members of an elementary school dressed up as President Donald Trump’s “border wall” as a group Halloween costume.

Some staff members of Middleton Heights Elementary School in Middleton, Idaho, dressed up in costumes depicting Mexican stereotypes, including wearing sombreros, carrying maracas, and wearing brightly colored ponchos.

Others were the literal border wall itself. The border costume appears to be made out of large pieces of cardboard, colored to look like bricks. In case they were worried about ambiguity, they actually added letters reading: “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN” in red, white, and blue.

The kicker? This didn’t go viral because the pictures appeared on social media after a private party. This went viral because the staff wore this costume in the school they teach in. Seemingly, in front of their students. And the pictures that quickly caused outrage? They weren’t leaked or sneakily captured by a concerned parent.

The two pictures in question went up on the school district’s Facebook page. They were removed quickly, but the damage was already done.

Posted by Beth Almanza on Thursday, November 1, 2018

Posted by Beth Almanza on Thursday, November 1, 2018

On Friday, the superintendent of Middleton School District,  Josh J. Middleton, issued an apology and claimed the school was investigating how this possibly happened.

“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.”

“We are better than this,” he continued. “We embrace all students. We have a responsibility to teach and reach all students — period.”

This video—in fact, the entire Facebook page—have been taken down.

Why was the staff dressed up to begin with? As told by the New York Times, two parents that visited the school on Halloween said faculty had a costume competition where teachers dressed up to represent various countries.

Apparently, people made the costumes during a team building activity for teachers and staff.

Why anyone thought cultural stereotypes and a literal border wall were good ideas is beyond comprehension. It’s insensitive, offensive, and disrespectful no matter what the demographics of the school are. But, sadly, the actual demographics of this school do make a bad situation even worse.

Almost 13 percent of the school’ s population is Hispanic, according to data from Idaho Ed Trends.

As of yet, the staff in the pictures have not been publicly identified. After a special school board meeting on Saturday morning, Middleton announced that 14 employees have been placed on paid administrative leave.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


  1. “14 employees have been placed on PAID administrative leave. These ignorant greedy people should have not been paid. Do you really think they regret it or has learned anything.

  2. I can understand one or two people being insensitive idiots, but ALL of them? Seriously? Among all those teachers NONE of them think what they’re doing is racist, moronic, not to mention horrible role models? What are they teaching little kids in Idaho? Oh, yeah, I get it. It’s okay to be that way in Idaho kids. Never too young to teach the kiddos to hate.


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