JOHNSTOWN, Colo. (CBS4) – A teacher was placed on paid administrative leave after the Johnstown Milliken School District said he allowed students to hit a piñata with President Donald Trump’s face on it.
District Superintendent Martin Foster said the incident took place on the campus of Roosevelt High School in Johnstown as part of a Spanish class’ celebration of Cinco de Mayo.
Video, and pictures, of the incident were posted on Snapchat, a phone application that allows users to share images for a set amount of time.
When Roosevelt High parent Lesley Hollywood saw the videos on Snapchat, she immediately took offense to it.
“It is disturbing that this would be happening in a school setting,” Hollywood told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas. “Why divide people? Why do this? There are so many other ways we can address politics in schools.”
In a statement issued to CBS4, Foster confirmed an investigation was started after the Spanish teacher allegedly allowed the incident to take place on campus.
Some parents, like Hollywood, applauded the school for taking action.
“Political discourse right now, in this country, is already so strained and so angry,” Hollywood said.
Hollywood, who did not vote for Trump, said the disrespect towards the nation’s leader was what concerned her.
“I wouldn’t of cared if it was Obama’s face on that piñata, or if it had been Hillary Clinton’s face,” Hollywood said. “It doesn’t matter. This is not how we should be teaching our children politics in this country.”
“This was an incredibly disrespectful act that does not reflect the values of Roosevelt High School or the district,” Foster said.
Students at the school wrote Hollywood telling her Mexico’s president, Enrique Pena Nieto, was also on the piñata. However, neither district officials nor video evidence suggested that was the case.
Hollywood encouraged the school to have political dialogue. However, she said the manner in which the teacher allowed it to happen was not acceptable in her eyes.
“They can have these conversations in a respectful manner. I just didn’t feel this was very respectful,” Hollywood said.
Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.