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Idaho Teachers/Staff Dressed as Border Wall and Mexicans Reinstated, Principal Remains Suspended

November 14, 2018

The 14 Middleton (Idaho) teachers and staff who were placed on paid leave after dressing as the border wall and Mexicans on Halloween purportedly for an after-school “team building exercise” have been released to return to their jobs.

However, the school’s principal remains under investigation.



Middleton Schools superintendent John Middleton offered the following November 07, 2018, press release.

Middleton School District Release

November 7, 2018

Dear Parents, Staff and Community,

The Middleton School District’s internal investigation with teachers and elementary aides who were on administrative leave on November 5th and 6th is complete. Our focus is now one of healing with an opportunity for all of us to grow together as a community. Today we began the re-entry process with training on cultural sensitivity and correspondence with parents, the staff and community. The entire Middleton School District staff is also receiving similar cultural sensitivity training today.

It is important to note that after the district’s review, it has been validated that there is nothing more than love and commitment in the hearts of these teachers and aides. The educators involved chose the profession to work with and educate ALL students and we are confident in their abilities to provide an effective learning environment for every student in the building. It is also noteworthy that the few threats that were made via telephone or on social media were made from out of town and out of state. Police have dealt with these swiftly and none were found to be credible.

We will welcome our teachers and aides back into their classrooms in the next few days and we embrace this opportunity for continuous improvement and striving toward becoming the district we want to be with the outstanding educators we have.

Mr. Mark Hopkins will continue his duties as Interim Principal. Police and security presence will continue at Heights and other schools as needed. All matters of the investigation, its outcomes, and any discipline matters are confidential.

The District would like to thank the Middleton Education Association and the Idaho Education Association in partnering to provide Mr. Ben Ibale as our cultural sensitivity trainer, and we look forward in working with them to continue to offer these opportunities to our staff. We also thank the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs for reaching out to us in support and offering future training and resources.

The Middleton School District is a growing district because families find this to be a welcoming community with great teachers and schools. We strive to be a destination for families of all backgrounds and a destination district for teachers in their professional careers.

Middleton School District’s goal is “Every Student Learning Every Day.” We fully expect this to continue to happen, without exception.

The teachers and elementary aides who were involved wish to offer the following statement:

“As educators, we understand our responsibility to our students, our parents, our colleagues, our community, and to our profession. While there was no malice or ill will in our intentions, we recently came up short in our understanding of the awareness of the impact of the choices we made, regardless of our intent.

Individually and collectively we are taking, and will continue to take, steps to learn, grow, and better understand and embrace cultural differences. We remain absolutely committed to ensuring that our students, who we care so deeply about, have a safe and secure learning environment that values all individuals and embraces different backgrounds and points of view. We apologize for our actions and the message it conveyed, and we commit to using this as a starting point for a higher level of growth and understanding.”


Dr. Josh J. Middleton, Superintendent
Middleton Board of Trustees

The fact that this situation happened in the first place continues to boggle my mind.

I’ll leave it at that.

thinker facepalm


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  1. According to a teacher friend in Boise, the Middleton District had banned speaking Spanish in the school until fairly recently.

  2. Sandra Smith permalink

    “Commitment and love” and the self-awareness of an amoeba.

  3. Reblogged this on David R. Taylor-Thoughts on Education and commented:
    There is no accounting for people’s poor taste.

  4. pauleck47 permalink

    “And here we have Idaho, winging its way to fame.” Very troubling but not surprising. The Boise State University Young Republicans did a fundraiser about 12 years ago that included a race across the Mexican border by non-documented immigrants. I had a long talk with that organizations faculty adviser. Don’t know if they went ahead with that totally inappropriate activity or not.

  5. Laura H. Chapman permalink

    Really pathetic.

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