With the government promoting anti-immigrant sentiments, it’s no surprise these xenophobic views made their ways to schools across the country. Just a day after the 2016 election, some schools denounced a rise in racist remarks from students – even in elementary schools – with some even shouting “Build the Wall” at Latino classmates as they walked in that morning.
Almost two years later, the story is the same. On September 7, students from Santa Ana High School in Orange County arrived at Aliso Niguel High Schoo, and greeted with signs that read “Build the Wall” and “We love White,” according to a Facebook post by Santa Ana Principal Jeff Bishop. “This is no different than our national discourse, but this is one principal who is not going to stand for it,” Bishop told the Los Angeles Times.
It’s worth noting that Santa Ana High School is almost 99 percent Latino, while Aliso Niguel is predominantly white. But students and faculty at Aliso Niguel didn’t consider the signs racist. “We are a multi-cultural school. Sure do we have outliers just as your school does? Sure, but for you to call our school a racist school is horrible to do to our students and our players,” one Aliso Niguel supporter commented on the post.
According to Bishop, Santa Ana’s coach was quick to say he’d retire the team if the situation escalated. Both Bishop and the coach agreed to speak to Aliso Niguel’s principal Deni Christensen during the second quarter, demanding she did something about the signs. Bishop and Christensen later hugged, according to the Facebook post.
Still, others at Aliso Niguel defended the signs, saying they were patriotic. Christensen later told the Orange County register the signs were meant as a commemoration of the anniversary of 9/11 this week. Some of the signs removed from the field read, “We’re going to Trump you” and “Trump 2020.” The game was promoted at Aliso Niguel High School as a “Red, White, and Blue” game meant to celebrate patriotism ahead of the September 11 anniversary. Some people who commented on Bishop’s Facebook post believe that with this theme, the school invited the racist signs.
Check out Bishop’s remarks below.