After learning that Donald Trump is set make an appearance at a local Sioux City high school, nearly 1,000 community members have joined together to send a clear message to the Sioux City Community School District Superintendent: Trump’s hateful speech should have no place in our schools.
“Most schools are working hard to try to prevent bullying in their institutions,” said Sioux City Iowan Francisco Valadez, a graduate of West High School.
“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?”
Nearly 1,000 people have signed Valadez’s MoveOn petition urging Superintendent Paul Gausman to cancel Trump’s appearance, which is scheduled for October 27th. Another 800 community members have also RSVP’d for a silent rally the same night of the event:
Our plan is to rally outside of West High the day of the event to speak out against Trump’s bigotry and let Trump know that we are an inclusive community that embraces diversity and encourages the acceptance of all backgrounds of life.
Trump’s xenophobic rhetoric will only cause division an hatred against the different ethnic groups in the school and in the community. Sioux City has a very diverse population ranging from Latinos, Asians, East Africans, Native Americans, etc…
We would like to unite the community to fight and speak out against racism, specially coming from a potential presidential candidate.
Community members have noted that though Trump’s appearance is scheduled for evening hours, after a summer of racist rhetoric attacking immigrants, Latinos, and other minority groups, the candidate should have no rightful place in the halls of this diverse high school.
From Hector Salamanca, advocacy chair with DREAM Iowa:
“Giving a bully a platform at any local high school would be alarming. But what’s even more disturbing is the fact that a man like Donald Trump is being invited into a school with such a diverse student body as West High. The school is 44% minority and 29% Latino. Letting Trump roam these young people’s halls, spreading his vicious lies and hate, is deeply disturbing. The entire school leadership and anyone involved in making the decision to allow this bully into their school needs to cancel his appearance immediately. They set an example for the school, and that would be how you stand up to bullies.”
A big fear from community members is that Trump’s rhetoric could put Latino and immigrant members of the Sioux City community at even more physical risk.
And, it’s a very credible fear. Last month in Des Moines, a group of Trump supporters physically and verbally attacked a group of peaceful protestors at Iowa State University.
In a viral video, one woman tore a protester’s sign in two as other Trump supporters cheered her on. Other Trump supporters hurled racist remarks at the peaceful protesters. The woman who tore the sign later issued a public apology after video of the incident earned tens of thousands of retweets, over half a million views, and immense public outrage.
Other attacks from Trump fans against immigrants and other minority groups across the nation have also been documented here by America’s Voice.
“Parents and students in Sioux City believe that Sioux City Community School District should not promote bullying in their schools by allowing Donald Trump to hold an anti-immigrant and anti-Latino event on their facilities,” states the petition from Valadez.
“Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant and anti-Latino rhetoric is dangerous and degrading for immigrants and Latinos. Trump supporters in Ames and Dubuque accosted and attacked immigrants outside Trump events.”
“Please join with us and demand that Dr. Paul Gausman and the Sioux City Community School District stop putting Latino students in danger.”