After initially contacting the school for comment last week, Canyon Principal Greg Bowden forwarded a rather tepid statement yesterday regarding the incident. “One senior posted Facebook suggestions to dress like Mexicans,” it read.
As you all now know, many followed through with the idea taking liberties to demean an entire ethnic group of people by arriving as stereotypical notions of cholos, cholas, pregnant teens and a pair of Border Patrol blondes to boot. They posed for pictures, making duck lips and mean mugs in some, while frontin' in the pat down position up against lockers they wouldn't have in the first place if on the real in others.
Oh, and, of course, there's always the now infamous YOLO cholo pretending to be detained by la migra!
The statement from Canyon High School contends that senior dress up week has been held for the last three years without any issues, not noting, however, what attire was considered appropriate in the past. “Waikiki Wednesday was also scheduled,” Principal Bowden adds, reiterating that Hawaiian shirts were the most popular choice last week. He himself arrived in 'Chinese attire,' whatever that means.
As the original article noted, students who chose to perpetuate the worst stereotypes were reprimanded by the administration and made to change their clothing. The school assures that those who dressed inappropriately were dealt with appropriately. When pressed if that meant seniors were sent home, suspended, or face disciplinary action tied to participation in graduation ceremonies, Bowden didn't elaborate. “Student discipline is a confidential matter,” he says.
The Orange County Human Relations Commission has also been made aware of the situation. Maybe the BRIDGES Program or a 'walk a day in my house shoes' conference is headed your way Anaheim Hills!
To the unrepentant mocosos who think it all just a harmless joke, this should be a moment of serious self-reflection on your part–but this is OC, and that's wishful thinking. Instead, I immediately thought of you, and not in an endearing way, when I saw the dubious and timely image on this graduation card (pictured left) the other day!
To the graduating students of Canyon High who rightly felt outraged by this incident, ustedes provide hope for the future. It doesn't really get better, sadly, but maintain a sense of humor as well as justice, and you'll grow stronger along the way.
Gabriel San Roman is from Anacrime. He’s a journalist, subversive historian and tallest Mexican in OC.