Middleton superintendent to investigate ‘inappropriate’ staff Halloween costumes
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MIDDLETON — The Middleton School District superintendent is launching an internal investigation after teachers posted what he calls “insensitive and inappropriate” Halloween pictures on the district’s Facebook page.
“I’m deeply troubled by the decision by our staff members to wear those costumes,” Superintendent Josh Middleton posted on Facebook Friday morning.
The district is facing heated criticism on social media over what some are calling racist photos uploaded to the district’s Facebook page on Oct. 31 at 8:30 p.m.
One of the photos, shared Thursday by Facebook user Beth Almanza, shows Middleton Heights Elementary School staff members holding pieces of what appear to be brick-painted cardboard signs that together bear the words “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN” — a political campaign slogan popularized by President Trump during his 2016 campaign. A separate photo depicts seven other staffers clad in bright Mexican-themed clothes, sombreros, and fake mustaches shaking maracas.
Partisan or political activities is prohibited for school employees at any time during regular school hours, according to district policy. The incident occurred after school, but while teachers were still on the clock.
Almanza said she obtained the photos via a screenshot from the district’s Facebook page. The photos have since been taken down from the district’s Facebook page.
Almanza’s post set off a firestorm of condemnation from Facebook users.
“Disappointing and disgusting,” wrote Evangelina Ozuna Ybarra.
“Disgusting,” wrote Facebook user Joseph Angel Alvarado.
Others defended the photos.
“I love how everyone is suddenly offended by Halloween costumes,” wrote Clarissa McAllister.
Almanza uploaded the screenshots to Facebook at 11:10 p.m. Thursday. Her post had garnered 529 shares and 380 comments as of 8:25 a.m. Friday morning.
Superintendent Middleton expressed his “sincerest and deepest apologies to our families and to our patrons.”
“We are so much better than this,” he said.
Stay with Idaho Education News for more on this developing story.
This article was originally posted on IdahoEdNews.org on Nov. 2, 2018. It is used here with permission.