Offensive High School Senior Events Canceled After Three Years

latimes.com

A Southern California school has canceled senior week events after many of the events were deemed offensive and demeaning to Hispanics. The events -- called the "Seniores" and "Senoritas" events -- have been held for the past three years at Canyon High School and were approved by campus adminstrators, according to school district officials. The events had many students electing to dress as gang members and a pregnant female pushing a baby stroller, according to the Los Angeles Times

Two former students had filed complaints in June, and the event was canceled after the Orange Unified School District launched an internal investigation. 

"I conclude there was a lack of oversight/supervision and that the school administration should not have allowed this activity," Aileen M. Sterling, executive director of secondary education for the district, wrote in an August 10 letter.

"Even if strict guidelines were provided the result would still lead to hurtful and demeaning messages about the Mexican culture and to the students of the Mexican, Hispanic and Latino descent," said Sterling.

In past years, 55 percent of the students in the school were white, while 16 percent were Latino, according to a Times California Schools Guide database. The faculty was 87 percent white and 8 percent Latino. 

In recent events, two boys dressed as a gardener and a female pushing a baby stroller. Other students dressed as U.S. Border Patrol agents and gang members with "bandanas and tear drops," according to the investigation. School administrators, who had not given direction on acceptable attire, "reacted immediately" and directed students to change while confiscating the props.

School administrators will be attending diversity and sensitivity training, and the school will offer an ethnic studies class for students and hold an International Week activity in the next school year, according to Sterling. 

What do you think of this incident? Is it the fault of the school administrators for not providing more guidance for the events or are the events largely demeaning? Share in the comments!

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