Trump scarecrow at elementary school creates online controversy

A classroom scarecrow depicting President Donald Trump is part of a larger scarecrow contest at Santa Clarita Elementary School this year. Facebook photo

A classroom scarecrow depicting President Donald Trump created an online dispute between parents in the Santa Clarita Valley after it was placed on Santa Clarita Elementary School’s campus last week.

The debate over the scarecrow began this weekend when a photo of Halloween craft was shared in a post in the public Santa Clarita Community Watchdog Group on Facebook.

“No matter what your political affiliation is, this was 100% inappropriate for elementary students to see at Santa Clarita Elementary today!” the original poster wrote on the page.

However, parents and residents appeared to be on both sides of the debate as some claimed that they “loved it” while others said it was inappropriate for elementary-aged children.

“I think the facts that kids wanted to make a scarecrow about the president (history) is pretty cool.  Whether you like the guy, kids are learning about him and made a scarecrow.  Get over it,” one commenter wrote.

Others claimed that it was the chosen photo that sparked the debate in the first place.

“I think the problem here is it’s an unflattering picture of him.  Plain and simple.  If he was smiling, nothing would have been mentioned,” another wrote.

Lee Morrell, public information officer for the Saugus Union School District, said the district still investigating the incident that occurred at one of its school campuses.

On Monday, the district released a statement about the event, stating it strives to create a positive learning environment for all of its children.

“We were made aware of the event this weekend and will work to ensure that any similar instance will not occur in the future. We regret the concern that this has caused and will implement safeguards to make certain that this will not happen again,” the district’s statement read.  “Safety and excellence in education are our top priorities and we will continue to work to make our campuses accepting places for all perspectives.”

The classroom scarecrow was originally created as part of an annual scarecrow contest conducted by the school each year, according to Parent Teacher Council (PTC) President Sara Jones Barsh.

“As PTC President of this school, I apologize if this is offensive,” Jones Barsh wrote on the original social media post.  “To clarify, our school was provided with scarecrows for each class. Each class had their students vote for how they wanted to decorate their scarecrows. I do not believe it is the student’s intention to be political.”

Various scarecrows created by classrooms and the PTC at Santa Clarita Elementary School as part of this year’s scarecrow contest. Facebook photo

During this year’s contest, students created scarecrows that represented everything from Minions and the Cat in the Hat to Spiderman and President Trump.

“I think it would have been different if there was a pic of ALL the scarecrows so everyone could see the creativity rather than singling out one scarecrow that (by the way), the students are so proud of,” Jones Barsh said.

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