I read a post shared by a friend on Facebook that talked about elementary school teachers in Idaho who dressed as Mexicans and the border wall for a school activity. Normalizing racism is never OK, especially from educators.

My biggest concern is with Superintendent Josh Middleton’s public response: “Do I think there was a malicious intent in this poor decision? No, I don’t. Was there a poor judgment involved? Absolutely.”

Teachers dressed up as Mexicans and the border wall is not poor judgment, it’s not malicious intent, it’s a racist act. I would have liked to see the district take action by educating teachers on racist acts and how racism affects students, but instead the district chose to conduct an investigation. The act is being normalized because they are brushing it under the rug.

We educate students to learn. With actions like this, students are normalizing racist actions, and parents are negating its impact on those affected. This is a small infraction, but it all adds up especially as it normalizes white privilege. Silence oppresses. If we don’t speak up when racism is happening, then each of us is the problem.

Ana P. Alcala, Salt Lake City