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Escondido teachers' yearbook photos spark controversy

Posted at 11:38 PM, May 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-23 16:06:04-04

ESCONDIDO, Calif. (KGTV) - Several teachers at San Pasqual High School are at the center of a controversy for the way they dressed in their yearbook pictures.

In the yearbook, the school’s World Language faculty seemed to dress up in attire related to the language they taught.

One woman who wore a beret was a French teacher, according to students. The Spanish teachers wore sombreros and mustaches, which some found offensive.

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The Escondido Union High School District released the following statement:

“The 2019 yearbook for San Pasqual High School, ‘The Golden Legend,’ was released yesterday (5/20/19) to senior students. It has come to our attention it contained photos from the World Language Department that are 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.

Administrators have discussed the issue with SPHS staff. Principal Martin Casas and his administrative team are taking precautions to ensure a similar situation does not occur in the future.”

According to Casas, “San Pasqual High School takes pride in its rich history and diversity. It is our intent to use this situation as a tool to remind students, as well as staff, to remember the impacts of their words and actions. We are committed to continuing our efforts to ensure all students, families and staff feel welcome and valued. United…we are San Pasqual.”

Other parents said she didn’t find it offensive or wasn’t sure how to feel.

“They could be offensive if they’re making fun of us. But it could be something honorable if they’re trying to do honor to the Mexican culture,” said Martin Reyes, whose son goes to San Pasqual. “It would be better without the big mustache and hats.”