Monday night at a class 3A district basketball playoff game versus Perry High School, Dallas Center-Grimes students started yelling “Trump!”, directing the chant at Perry students where enrollment is nearly half minority students, most of whom are Latino.
Perry High School Principle Dan Mahburger says that administrators and officials at Dallas Center-Grimes High School immediately shut down the chant when they heard it and then sent students to formally apologize.
“A really neat thing happened yesterday morning. Dallas Center-Grimes sent up representatives from their student council and sat down with kids form our athletic council. It was really great to see. It was something they didn’t have to do, but it opened some dialogue,” Mahburger says.
"They didn't want the actions of a few to speak for all of them."
Mahburger points to this as just one example of how presidential politics, and rhetoric, are reflected in Iowa's high schools.
"I can tell you, we have many kids that are scared. They’re fearful of the rhetoric that is out there. They hear the anti-immigration talk," Mahburger explains. "You know, we’re one of the few schools in Iowa that has a plan for what would happen if immigration would come in and take some of their parents. Those are conversations that don’t go on in every school, but they do happen here. "
During this River to River interview, Mahburger talks with host Ben Kieffer about the incident at the basketball game Monday and about how negative rhetoric aimed at Latinos and immigrants effects his students.
Perry's varsity boys basketball team plays their final sub-state game on Monday night in Atlantic.
During River to River's full broadcast from Friday, Kieffer also talks with Drake Political Science Professor Dennis Goldford about Senator Charles Grassley's role in the nomination of the next supreme court justice; and we get an update on the state's transition to a privately managed Medicaid system.
Then, Dean Borg, correspondent with IPR gives us an update on the continued push back against the hiring of University of Iowa President Bruce Harreld, and Roosevelt High School junior Zoey Wagner talks about a new gender neutral bathroom.