A photo of principal Mark Rowicki wearing a suit and “Make American Great Again” and secretary Stephanie Corbett wearing an orange jumpsuit and blonde wig was posted to the school’s Halloween photo album on their site until parents complained, WTVR reported Wednesday.
According to WTVR, some parents were outraged at administration officials for wearing “politically charged costumes.”
Rowicki told WHSV that he apologized to anyone offended by his outfit and said he was just trying to connect with his students, who are encouraged to wear costumes to school on the holiday.
Superintendent of Staunton City Schools Linda Reviea posted a statement on the high school’s website saying Rowicki displayed “poor judgment.”
“It is a longstanding tradition of Staunton City Schools—and of many school divisions across the United States—to allow students and staff to engage in festive activities and dress in costume for Halloween,” Reviea wrote. “That said, the particular costumes worn by two employees at R.E. Lee High School were in poor judgment, given the current political climate and the extraordinarily strong sentiments for the 2016 presidential candidates. I became aware of the situation on Tuesday night and instructed our staff to remove the images in question from Lee High School’s website today (Nov. 2). We are handling the situation as a personnel matter and addressing the issue with relevant staff.”