If you thought the people animated by Donald Trump’s xenophobic bigotry would at least have the basic human decency to spare elementary school kids their racism, well, think again!
When students and staff at Cali Calmecac Language Academy, in Windsor, CA, arrived at school on Monday, they were greeted by graffiti reading “Trump 2016” and “Build The Wall Higher.” The school’s principal, Jeanne Acuña, told me the slogans were sprayed across walls, stairs, doors, and even garbage-can lids.
Cali Calmecac is a dual language immersion school, where lessons are taught in both English and Spanish. What’s more, Acuña explained to the Press Democrat, around 75% of the K-8’s 1,100 students are, themselves, Latinx.
“This is going straight to little kids. The janitor tried his best to get as much of it covered as he can in the morning, but the kids still saw it, and they’re really rattled by it,” she told the paper. “They feel violated. They feel threatened by it, because it could be something that violates their parents, or affects their family. It’s a really ugly feeling.”
One local Republican distanced herself from the incident.
“I’m real sorry about that. That’s not a good message. It’s taxpayer money that gets wasted; it’s not good. Cali Calmecac has been there for many years,” Sonoma County Republican Party chairwoman Edelweiss Geary told Fox News Latino. “I would certainly say no Republican was involved.”
Speaking with KPIX, parent Melissa Leonard questioned why someone would target the school where her five-year-old attends class. “It’s a big shame,” she said. “I don’t understand why they had to come to a kids school. It’s not okay.”
The graffiti’s message was not lost on Cali Calmecac’s students either.
“If they build a wall, all my cousins have to go back to Mexico and a lot of people I know have to go back,” nine-year-old Cienna Rodriguez told KTVU. “So I don’t want it.”
As for who is behind the vandalism, Acuña has a theory:
“My gut says it’s probably a really misguided teenager,” she told me. “Just kind of an impulsive prank.”
Nevertheless, the school has taken precautions, with police patrolling the neighborhood, and concerned parents volunteering to help supervise kids during less structured times during the day, such as recess. Acuña also confirmed that police are investigating the graffiti as a hate crime.
If there’s a silver lining to the incident, though, it’s been the response Cali Calmecac has received since the graffiti was discovered.
“Mostly it’s prompted an incredible outpouring of positivity from the community, from parents who don’t have children here,” Acuña told me. “We had parents out in front of the school this morning who have toddlers that were holding signs in support. It was very touching.”