Latino students at Newport Harbor High School fought, and won, permission to wear “Dump Trump” t-shirts to their Newport Beach, California, public school.
Tensions between Latino students and white students at Newport Harbor High School were reportedly high before Donald Trump became the presumptive Republican presidential nominee and have now gotten worse. The Newport Beach school has a student population of 58 percent white students and 36 percent Hispanic students, according to NBC News.
The Hispanic students and the white students often reportedly choose not to intermingle. During the heated Republican primary race, some Newport Beach high school students opted to wear shirts bearing Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan, to class.
— Chican@sUEdCtte (@ChicanosUEdCtte) April 30, 2016
Some Latino students at the California school claim the Trump t-shirts with the campaign slogan make them feel uncomfortable. Graffiti written on sidewalks with chalk, making derogatory statements about Hispanics, has been spotted around the campus. The culprit(s)remain unknown and could be white students engaging in racism against their Hispanic peers, Latino students attempting to gin up the brewing controversy between the two segments of the school population, or another unrelated group of teens or adults who wanted to fan the flames of the ongoing debate about the “Dump Trump” shirts.
The principal at the Newport-Mesa Unified School District called some students who might have been involved in the chalk drawings to the office earlier this week. The race of the students remains unknown. Hispanic students also told local reporters that “Trump 2016” has been written in chalk on campus sidewalks.
The principal has asked that students report any “bullying” or name-calling to his office immediately, the OC Register reports.
Susan Chingay, a 16-year-old student at Newport Harbor High School, claimed the “Dump Trump” t-shirt battle began after a pro-Trump and anti-Trump student got into a fist fight on campus. Chingay and five of her friends are upset about Trump’s comments about illegal immigrants.
“When he came out with his speech about how Mexico sends rapists and criminals, that hit home for me,” Chingay said. Her mother became an illegal immigrant two decades ago and is still living in the United States without any type of legal status. “I felt that I needed to speak up.”
When the six Hispanic students first wore the “Dump Trump” shirts to school, they were told to remove them and change their clothes. Principal Sean Boutlon reportedly cited safety reasons for the clothing change order. The Latino students said they felt they were not being treated equally to Trump supporters who had been allowed to wear “Make America Great Again” t-shirts to class.
“The principal told us how he was afraid of what was going to happen to us, but we told him he couldn’t silence us like that,” Anthony Agama said. “We told him we have a right to wear them. We’re nothing like what he [Donald Trump] describes us. “We’re educated people. Half of my family back in Mexico is super educated. They’re doctors, lawyers and architects. My sister and cousins living here are going to college, too. We’re hard workers, not criminals.”
‘Dump Trump’ Protesters Tell Dubious Sob Story on Univisionhttps://t.co/92RF2ZxsrR
— All American Girl (@AIIAmericanGirI) May 6, 2016
Newport-Mesa Unified School District public relations representative Annette Franco said the now overturned decision to ban “Dump Trump” t-shirts was enacted to “prevent disturbances” on campus.
“Students are allowed to wear their political attire and talk about different issues. But as soon as we learn that their safety is compromised, then that’s when we step in and try to do what we can to make sure that we can ensure the safety of our students,” Franco added.
Latino students win battle to wear Dump Trump shirts to school https://t.co/BiNl4eMubD
— Lalo Alcaraz (@laloalcaraz) May 3, 2016
The Newport Harbor High School students planned to wear the “Dump Trump” shirts to school again today.
What do you think about the “Dump Trump” t-shirts vs. “Make America Great Again” Trump slogan shirts controversy at the California school?
[Image by AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File]