Video has emerged of a California high school student — and apparently a teacher as well — beating up on a piñata that resembles Donald Trump, and school officials are refusing to discuss the matter, KCAL-TV (Los Angeles) is reporting.
Last week, video of the event went viral on social media, as it was shared on Facebook, YouTube, and other platforms. In the grainy video, an unknown number individuals can be seen taking swings at the effigy of the president, clad in fiery yellow hair and a red tie. The audio is difficult to make out, but laughing appears to take place as well.
One such video, posted on YouTube, claims in its description that it took place at a Spanish class at Laguna Hills High School.
In a tweet, a user claiming to be a Laguna Hills High School student admits to the event having taken place, saying that it was done as part of a female student’s 15th birthday party (the “quince,” or “Quinceañera,” a major cultural event in some Latino cultures).
“We thought it was okay to use one for a quince and our teachers did too.”
However, the user says that school officials didn’t see it that way, and that two Spanish teachers were suspended over it.
A spokesperson for the Saddleback Valley United School District said that officials took “immediate action” on learning of the incident. The spokesperson confirms that it involved at least one member of the school’s personnel.
@KeepOrangeRed The State of the Union: Make This Go Viral: Trump Pinata in Laguna Hills High School Spanish Class https://t.co/7jfzC1sc6r @InfoMinimal @realKStrawn93 This need to go everywhere!@kennylee446 @sastrelady @Cali11958322 pic.twitter.com/tL8dOjjYTZ
— Arthur C. Schaper (@ArthurCSchaper) February 25, 2018
However, owing to the fact that school administrators are treating the video as an internal personnel matter, officials are refusing to say any more about what discipline, if any, the teacher(s) will face, citing confidentiality. Similarly, since high school students’ disciplinary matters are also considered confidential, school officials will likely not say what action, if any, has been or will be taken against any students involved in the incident.
The Twitter user who claims to have confirmed the incident says that no one at his school saw the incident as “disgraceful” – even those who support the president.
“I’m not a fan on how the school handled the situation tbh.”
YouTube users, however, are plenty outraged.
tankie: These teachers are strict in their brainwashing of angry liberal youth. By their standards it is now okay to make pinatas of the Mexican President for students to beat with sticks in English classes?
Nothing Burger: This should not happen in our public schools.
The use of effigies (that is, representations of people, in the form of dolls, piñatas, cardboard cutouts, etc.) in political protest is generally considered protected free speech under the First Amendment, according to a June 2017 report in The Hill. During the Obama administration, the website notes, stories of effigies of the then-president burning or being hanged were a regular occurrence. Similarly, the topic of Trump effigies was brought to national attention when comedian Kathy Griffin famously posed with an effigy depicting the decapitated head of Donald Trump.