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Latino Students Allowed To Wear 'Dump Trump' T-Shirts To School

For months, 16-year-old Angelina Alvarez of Costa Mesa, California despised this message she heard from Donald Trump: Mexicans are rapists and criminals; illegal immigrants should go home; infectious diseases are pouring across the border from Mexico. She believes it's xenophobia. Since last fall, Newport Harbor students who are Trump supporters have worn their politics on their T-shirts at school, which is 38% Latino and 52% white.

She was even more disturbed when she saw graffiti chalked throughout the campus with the words "f*** illegal aliens" and "wetbacks" and a heart drawn by Trump's name.

Angelina said, “With Donald Trump, [students] are more open about their hate and the things they say." During last week's anti-Trump protests, one of Angelina's 13-year-old friends was choked and punched. That is when she and half a dozen of her friends wore Dump Trump T-shirts to school on Friday.

At the end of her math class a security guard showed up. The principal, Sean Boulton, wanted to see Angelina in the main office – and he wanted her to change out of the Dump Trump shirt. Boulton urged them to remove the shirts for their own safety. Angelina explained, “They’ve worn the shirts all this time, and we wear a shirt for one period and we get called up right away. It’s not like we’re doing anything violent. We’re just standing up for ourselves.”

In addition, Angelina and her classmates told administrators about the derogatory graffiti, some of it still visible on Friday, and other incidents on campus, such as verbal harassment, had made them feel like they were under attack. Boulton said, “There’s certainly a lot of things that go on on campus that are inappropriate … and as information surfaces we don’t just ignore it. We react and we’re proactive in trying to resolve it."

A national school survey conducted by the Southern Poverty Law Center and released last month found that teachers have encountered a spike in “the bullying, harassment and intimidation of students whose races, religions or nationalities have been the verbal targets of candidates.” Now, the students are allowed to wear the t-shirts. Angelina said, “We opened up a lot of eyes and we showed people that they can have voices too.”

Photo: The Guardian

Students stand up for their beliefs and encourage others to do the same.

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