Latino students at a North Carolina high school are outraged after some of their fellow classmates built a wall as a school prank.
Students at McDowell High School in western North Carolina were allowed entry into their school at night on June 1st to build a wall made of cardboard boxes as a prank. The students conducting the prank were under the supervision of a teacher and their wall blocked a common area within the school.
The 30 students who built the wall posed for a picture in front of it and a student in the center of the photo was sporting a Donald Trump shirt. One of the students shared the photo on Instagram with the caption, “We built the wall first.” Other students shared the photo with the hashtags “#buildthatwall” and “#thewallwillgroup.” The photo was found and shared by the “students4trump” Instagram account, which has approximately 40,700 followers.
One of the students wanted to put a Trump sticker on the wall, but was told he couldn’t, according to principal Edwin Spivey.
The wall was removed before classes began on June 2nd.
The following day, Spivey met with two Latino students, Marta Guardian and Johnny Campos, to apologize for the prank.
Campos released a statement to News 13 in which he said, “I am the president of the Hispanic Youth Club. After this incident was brought to my attention, I asked to meet with our principal, Mr. Spivey. It was a very productive meeting and I believe Mr. Spivey will handle this in a way that helps everyone begin to repair relationships. McDowell High School is a great place, and I want the Class of 2016 to be known for building bridges for a better tomorrow – not judged by the insensitive actions of a few people.”
“My Mom and Dad have done a lot for me. And other families do that too. But people seem to see them as bad people. That’s why the wall at school, and the one Trump wants to build, is so offensive,” Guardian, a first-generation American who is of Mexican descent, said.
Despite the backlash from Latino students, the more than 30 students involved with the wall will not face punishment.
“In viewing the actual photo and what took place, there’s not anything offensive in the photo. There was no offensive activity at the time. What became offensive or concerning was what took place on social media afterwards. So, it’s hard for the school to have control or to take action against something that happened on social media that was outside school hours and outside any school network,” Brian Oliver of the McDowell County Schools system told News 13.
Marta Guardian and Johnny Campos were given the task of coming up with ways “to be united in the school.”
“And I think we should do that. Because we’re all a community, and we all should be friends. We’re all humans,” Guardian said. “We are all immigrants. We are all from all over the world.”