Language teachers face blame for ‘culturally insensitive’ yearbook photos


Language teachers face blame for ‘culturally insensitive' yearbook photos

ESCONDIDO, Calif. (KGTV/CNN) - A California high school is now caught in a controversy.

Some of the teachers there are getting blasted for their yearbook photos.

But several parents are withholding judgment until they know the intention of the teachers.

San Pasqual High School's world language faculty may have made the most memorable image of the 2019 yearbook.

A student shared the yearbook photos and said she thought they were offensive. The school district agreed.

The district called the pictures "culturally insensitive and in poor judgment."

"The photos are a collection of pictures taken at the beginning of the year for use as teacher ID photos," the Escondido High School District said.

The teachers seemed to dress in costume according to the language they taught.

Students identified the one wearing a beret as a French language teacher.

The ones wearing sombreros and mustaches taught Spanish.

"It doesn't look offensive to me," Merced Juarez, a parent.

Juarez said her son had Olivia Olalde as a Spanish teacher, and said she cared a lot for the language and culture.

“She’s very strict, but she wants them to learn Spanish,” Juarez said.

Juarez thinks the pictures are taken out of context.

Other parents were also unsure how to feel.

“They could be offensive if they’re making fun of us,” said Martin Reyes, another parent. “It could be something honorable if they’re trying to make honor to the Mexican culture. It would be better without the big mustache and hats."

The principal at San Pasqual High School responded to the pictures saying that “cultural appropriation is offensive, even if the intent is not to offend, and has no place in our school. We have a lot of work to do.”

Administrators say they've taken appropriate steps to ensure this doesn't happen again.

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