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Iowa Students, Community Members Tell Superintendent To Follow His Own Anti-Bullying Policy And Cancel Trump Event

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By allowing Donald Trump use of West High School in Sioux City, Iowa for a campaign rally tomorrow, Superintendent Paul Gausman is ignoring “his own anti-bullying policies for the sake of politics,” say students and local community leaders.

“Many students and their families believe that the district’s bullying policy applies to all the district’s facilities during all hours of the day, regardless of who is renting them,” said Sioux City Iowan Ismael Valadez in a statement.

“We don’t believe the policy allows for exceptions to be made for politicians regardless of their party or what position they are running for. Parents and students believe that the bullying policies in Sioux City apply equally to students, faculty, and visitors like Donald Trump.”

Valadez’s nephew, Francisco, is a graduate of West High School, and launched a MoveOn petition urging Superintendent Gausman to cancel the event, noting that Trump’s “anti-immigrant rhetoric is inciting violence toward Latinos across Iowa and across the country and puts Latino students in danger.”

29% of the school’s student body is Latino, and with Trump’s hateful rhetoric inciting a string of attacks against Latinos and immigrants in both Iowa and across the nation, West High School students are fearing for their safety.

Just last weekend, shocking video of a Trump supporter physically dragging a Latino protester out of a Miami campaign rally — and then kicking him in the side as he lay on the ground — made national headlines and was viewed over 170,000 times on Vine.

At the same event, Trump disturbingly condoned the use of violence against Latino and immigrant protesters:

“See the first group, I was nice. Oh, take your time,” Trump said of the protesters. “The second group, I was pretty nice. The third group, I’ll be a little more violent. And the fourth group, I’ll say get the hell out of here!”

In response to Trump’s appearance at their school, students have launched a #WestHighStudent hashtag telling the Superintendent to follow his own anti-bullying guidelines and cancel the event:

Additionally, students are also wearing t-shirts with anti-bullying messages to school today in protest of the planned campaign rally:

In a Friday statement, Superintendent Gausman declined to cancel the event, saying “this situation presents an opportunity for us to model for our students and community how to properly demonstrate the rights of free speech and the freedom of assembly, and the democratic process.”

But some students have noted that the scheduled Trump event has already created a hostile environment for them and Superintendent Gausman should reconsider his decision:

“Most schools are working hard to try to prevent bullying in their institutions,” Valadez noted. “What kind of message is West High and the Sioux City Community School District sending, by giving a stage and a platform to a bully like Donald Trump?”