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School Staff In Candidate Costumes Face Backlash

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A principal and secretary of a high school in Staunton, Virginia, are in hot water after wearing satirical presidential costumes for Halloween.

Robert E. Lee High School Principal Mark Rowicki wore a costume of Republican nominee Donald Trump and school secretary Stephanie Corbett dressed as Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Rowicki’s costume included Trump’s characteristic hair and a “Make America Great Again” cap. Corbett’s Clinton costume was not the usual pantsuit the former first lady is known for wearing, but rather an orange jumpsuit -- implying that she should be imprisoned -- with a “Department of Justice” name tag that read “Hillary R. Clinton.”

The pair are shown together in a picture that was posted to the school’s website in a Halloween costume gallery, according to WHSV. The uncropped version of the image shows Corbett wearing a chain around her waist. The picture quickly disappeared from the school’s site around 1 p.m. on Nov. 2.

Emberly Lynn Martin, a mother of two girls and a Lee High graduate, was outraged about the costumes and posted the picture on Facebook.

Martin added some commentary to the image:

You are professionals, who work with children. Some more impressionable then others. The fact that any school official would think its okay to dress like this leaves me appalled and floored. What message are you sending to any of them when their high school principal dresses up like a man who wants to deport them, says things like 'she's a nasty woman,' or 'grab em by the p----?'

School board member Robert Boyle said, "I don't have the context, but I'm sure it's an educational type thing about history."

Boyle went on to say, "I'm sure it was in good taste ... I'm sure it's just more comical than anything else."

Superintendent Linda Reviea would not reveal whether the costumes worn by Rowicki or Corbett would lead to any punitive actions.

"[There were] pictures that people might have a concern about," Reviea said, reports the News Leader. "I contacted the school and Dr. Rowicki and the pictures have been taken down."

Although the school didn’t receive any direct complaints about the costumes, it did get calls from anonymous people upset over the Clinton costume.

"While I certainly understand choosing a figure in pop culture, whether it be a TV character or in this case a political candidate... the way Hillary is described, that seems in poor judgment and a bad decision," said School board chairman Ron Ramsey. "I think they took it too far.”

Sources: News Leader, WHSV / Photo credit: WHSV

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