Outrage ensued after teachers at Heights Elementary, Middleton, Idaho dressed up for Halloween in costumes depicting stereotypical Mexicans and the border wall to Mexico.
Middleton School District placed fourteen staff members of the elementary school on paid administrative leave after their culturally insensitive choice of Halloween costumes.
The teacher’s choice of costumes came from a week-long team building activity where they chose from six countries, with the focus supposed to have been on acts of respect and kindness.
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Thirteen individuals are seen dressed in culturally insensitive outfits when the pictures were posted on Facebook, the pictures have since been taken down, but the damage has been done. Superintendent of Middleton School District Josh Middleton said:
“We have talked to the principal and our assistant superintendent human resources director now is conducting interviews up at the elementary school and just to be safe we have beefed up security at our schools.”
An investigation is currently underway and the district plan to have the investigation completed with an action plan on moving forward next week.
Middleton Police increased patrols at Heights Elementary School, and whether the teachers will be dismissed from their positions have not been confirmed.
In recent years teachers across the U.S. have voiced concerns regarding the difficulty of current state standards and tests, and the impact it has on students with special learning needs.
The majority of teachers do not currently support the use of state tests to measure mastery of standards, most teachers felt that ELA and mathematics standards provided post-secondary preparation and supported alignment from grade to grade.
Those who are unsupportive of these standards felt that it excluded important concepts and were not appropriate for special needs students. States and districts should reflect on ways to address the challenges of test difficulties, particularly with regard to students with special needs.
They should strive to ensure that they align state assessments with their standards, communicating the links between standards and assessments with the specific content of tests clearly outlined, so it is clear for teachers, schools, and families.
The educational system faces many obstacles, one of which got highlighted when a single father, Stuart Chaifetz, got concerned about his 10-year-old son, Akian’s increasing signs of emotional distress.
Stuart began to receive notes from the special needs school Akian attends describing his son’s violent behavior. In efforts to solve the problem, he went to a school behaviorist, but matters only got worse.
The single father’s suspicions turned to the school and wanting to find out discreetly he placed a recorder in Akian’s pocket and sent him to school. After listening to six hours of recording the problem was clear.
He heard his 10-year-old son being bullied by his teacher and a teacher’s aide. He got yelled at and berated while the children clearly heard inappropriate conversations about getting drunk and sexual encounters between the adults.
Stuart sent the recording to the head of the school, upon which the teacher’s aide got fired, no other action was taken and no issues got addressed.
The educational system faces many challenges, all of which deserves undivided attention as these children grow up to be the adults and leaders in years to come.