Officials placed a high school teacher on paid leave after a Cinco de Mayo video surfaced that allegedly depicted students smashing a pinata with a picture of President Donald Trump on the outside.
Perhaps giving a new meaning to Trump bashing, the incident on school grounds on Friday, which is now subject to a school district investigation, allegedly occurred at Roosevelt High School in Weld County, Colorado.
According to CBS Denver, the pinata may have also depicted the face of Mexico’s president, Enrique Pena Nieto, but school officials indicated that video footage only shows Trump’s image.
Additional videos of the Trump pinata, which students reportedly uploaded to Snapchat and other social media platforms, may emerge as the story gains more traction, however.
School Superintendent Dr. Martin Foster described the incident that occurred as part of the Cinco de Mayo festivities as an “incredibly disrespectful act” in a statement that the district posted Saturday evening on Facebook.
“It has come to the attention of the Weld County School District RE-5J Johnstown-Milliken leadership that on Friday May 5, during a Spanish class at Roosevelt high school, President Donald John Trump’s picture was placed on a piñata as part of a Cinco De Mayo event. Facebook photos show the piñata, the piñata tied to a tree, and a student with a bat in hand near the piñata. The teacher in charge of this class has been placed on paid administrative leave pending an an investigation by the school district that will commence on Monday, May 8.”
Administrative leave in the public sector generally is more or less the equivalent of a paid vacation while authorities gather information on an undefined timetable.
On Friday, a parent of a student at Roosevelt High School posted her thoughts on Facebook about the Trump pinata and other parents’ right to know, which included pictures of it. Presumably, this social media message caught the attention of officials.
“…Now it’s no secret I didn’t vote for Trump, and I’m certainly not his biggest fan. I’d be outraged by this if it was Obama or Bush or Clinton. It’s really unbelievable, especially right here in little ol’ Johnstown, Colorado (a town which is honestly fairly conservative). I will definitely be taking this up with the school.”
The parent, identified in multiple media accounts as Leslie Hollywood, told the Greeley Tribune that she and her daughter were subject to backlash, mostly from students, after publicizing the event via Facebook.
“I think political discourse right now is so negative and so strange already that all this does…is create more divide…And I think the reaction to this really shows why this shouldn’t be happening on school grounds.”
Against that backdrop, she added that the school district should also address itself to severe bullying that’s going on, as well as noting she is in no way advocating for the teacher in question to be fired.
Hollywood indicated that she would have taken up the Trump pinata controversy with school leaders first had it not been for the intervening weekend.
Separately, Donald Trump on a pinata is a thing, as the Inquisitr has previously chronicled.
For example, a Portland, Oregon, woman quit her job after attending her company Christmas party, only to be horrified when coworkers allegedly tied up a Donald Trump pinata and beat it with a metal baseball bat until all the candy fell out. The woman indicated that she neither supported Trump nor Hillary Clinton (or Bernie Sanders for that matter). Instead, she likened the beating of a Trump pinata to the lynching and beating of an effigy and something she found deeply disturbing.
At a November 30, 2016, Guns N’ Roses show in Mexico City, lead singer Axl Rose introduced the concert’s special guest: a giant Trump effigy in the form of a massive pinata. He then invited fans up on the stage to bash the pinata with a stick, eventually completely destroying it.
Watch this space for updates on the investigation into the Donald Trump Cinco de Mayo pinata smashing at the Colorado high school and the teacher’s subsequent administrative leave status.
[Featured Image by Carolyn Kaster/AP Images]