Glendale, California — In the weeks leading up to the presidential elections, and on election day itself, public school teachers allegedly encouraged students to beat and kick piñata effigies of GOP candidate Donald Trump.
Mrs. Carla Mideros is a substitute teacher who teaches introductory Spanish. On her LinkedIn page, Mideros claims she has taught at Glendale Unified for over 9 years. She touts her “[m]ulticultural experience and excellent rapport with my co-workers and students.”
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According to student reports, weeks ago Mideros brought a Trump piñata to class, encouraging students to beat and kick the effigy of the then-GOP candidate. At least one student videotaped Mideros’ participation. Mideros’ red skirt and black shoes appear near the end of the video:
Witnesses heard Mideros explain: “I voted for Hillary. I’m a bad woman, but I hate Trump.”
Fast forward to election day.
Mrs. Martha Sepulveda is a foreign language teacher in the Glendale Unified School District. She also teaches at Glendale High School. According to students, Sepulveda organized a repeat Trump piñata bashing event, bringing the second Trump effigy to school the morning of the national election.
White students felt bullied and intimidated by the teachers’ coordinated actions but were reluctant to come forward for fear of reprisals. They went to their parents who notified school officials about the disturbing incident:
my students came home to express how unsafe they felt at school these past two days and how they felt the teachers did not do anything to help them feel safe and secure on campus.
it is my understanding that it started yesterday with a Donald Trump pinata being brought to school and teachers and students banging on the pinata. this apparently is documented all over social media. this act began a climate on campus where my students fell unsafe and scared. Then today, with all the outrage, regarding the presidential elections, my students once again felt unsafe at all the turmoil, anger and frustration that students and teachers were demonstrating….
A school is an educational institution that thrives on learning however the safety of students should also be a top priority. teachers should be expected to conduct themselves in a manner that fosters dialogue and learning. and not fuel the flames of hatred or outrage or other negative emotions because their candidate did not win. they should be expected to keep these feelings in check and be the professionals they are expected to be. (emphasis added)….
my students have been instructed to refrain from any and all political talk with everyone so as to avoid any type of physical or mental harm coming to them….
i would like to know what you will do to protect my students and provide a safe learning environment for them.
Dr. Benjamin Wolf, the school principal, responded via email:
I was in classrooms yesterday and today and did not experience this at all. I can assure you that no child is unsafe on this campus. We have 5 administrators, security and a full time police officer. Students can easily find any of us or go straight to their center. I do not know about a pinata but if your child has information about a specific teacher doing anything inappropriate than (sic) we will of course investigate. Any time your child has a safety concern they should go to their center and speak to their assistant principal.
Parents simultaneously alerted the Glendale High School Assistant Principal, Mrs. Diana Hernandez and provided the video file of the piñata bashing.
attached is a video that is circulating on social media and amongst the students of the pinata incident at school
Mrs Mideors (sic) who apparently is a substitute teacher for Mrs Lanaro in spanish class is the alleged teacher who instigated this incident..
i truly believe that this type of behavior is completely unacceptable. It show (sic) absolute disrespect and fosters a hostile environment and that spilled over to other parts of campus and classrooms…
again my sole concern is the safety of my students and that i can confidently send them to campus knowing that they will be safe and unharmed, which at this point i do not feel confident sending them to campus and do believe their safety to be at risk…
Mrs. Hernandez also responded via email, referencing Dr. Wolf’s note:
Thank you very much for sharing this information and video. The administration will investigate this incident. As Dr. Wolf wrote please make sure your child goes to their center with any concerns or issues….Our top priority is maintaining a safe learning environment for all our students.
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