GLOUCESTER (CBS) – An elementary school principal in Gloucester is apologizing for a controversial Halloween display at a school party.

The parent teacher organization hosted a fundraiser at West Parish Elementary School Friday night and one of the parents brought in a bean bag toss game that included fake tombstones.

One of them had the name “Don Trump” on it.

Offended parents sent pictures to Massachusetts Republican Party committeewoman Amanda Orlando Kesterson, who shared one of the photos on Facebook.

(Photo credit: Amanda Orlando Kesterson – Facebook)

“Politics does not belong in an elementary school–any politics,” she told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kendall Buhl. “But it’s particularly egregious to be putting the name of the sitting US president on a tombstone.”

Principal Dr. Telena Imel apologized in a letter to parents.

“Intentionally or not, it inappropriately brought a political agenda into what was designed to be a fun family affair,” Imel wrote.

“Our school, and this includes school events sponsored by related groups, is not the place for politics. In planning future events, it will be made clear to organizers that school is not the place to engage in or to display political agendas or opinions.”

The parents involved have since apologized, and Kesterson says she’s satisfied.  She feels the resulting discussion over what is appropriate political commentary has been a good thing.

“The City of Gloucester does not condone political messaging within our schools.” Gloucester Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken said in a statement Monday.

“We share the sentiments outlined in recent school administration statements and have made our expectations clear. We support the Superintendent’s Office in their efforts to provide a meaningful resolution and believe that the school administration is responding appropriately toward our community.”

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kendall Buhl reports

Comments (94)
  1. Doug Day says:

    Boston…ain’t what it used to be.

  2. Phil Davison says:

    These are the people teaching your children how to hate and disrespect.

  3. bonstertm says:

    Division politics in Elementary schools. This is what we are teaching our children. And libbies want diversity? What a joke.

  4. I had teachers the taught education, there was no advertising allowed in our school only education. Today it is politics, how much money can your kid raises. When will good people take their schools education back over. The educators are failing our children.

  5. I dont know how Massachusetts went from Henry Cabot Lodge to Carl Marx. Very sad.

  6. John Schmidt says:

    What would the principal have said had Obama or Clintons name been used? It isn’t appropriate.

  7. Joe Boltonn says:


  8. Samuel Green says:

    They can blame this on the parent that made the sign all they want, but at the end of the day, not one teacher, nor the principal on the onset of seeing this acted. They only acted when a parent objected.

    Any teacher or principal that saw this and chuckled, rather than FIX this issue, teaches the children that their educators and at least one parent are entirely stuck on stupid.

    They should be slapped with a dead mackerel, and the person that made this offensive gravestone should be made to eat a cup full of barnacles.

  9. D.r. Pierce says:

    If this was obamas name, all hell would break out. The principal should be fired for making threats toward the President. If the next President is a Latin or Asian, can we place these same types of items with out being fired or called racist.

    1. riosam77 says:

      God forbid that should ever happen. We already had a presidential social experiment and it failed miserably….Our Republic cannot handle another huge blunder!

  10. BeanerECMO says:

    I can bet it wasn’t a grade-school student that placed the faux tombstone in the display.

  11. Jeffrey Day says:

    “Intentional or not”?

    How do you create it by hand, write his name on the tombstone and put it up on the table unintentionally?

  12. Su Yu says:

    If it was Obama, the word Racism would be all over the media….

  13. It’s a very nice letter by the principal, but, and I realize I’m probably wandering off the reservation here, at the end of the letter her signature doesn’t exactly inspire my confidence in her as an educator or administrator. It is signed “Dr. Telena S. Imel.” Underneath is typewritten “Telena S. Imel”, and underneath that is typewritten “Principal”.

    First, her legal name is not “Dr.” Telena etc. The “proper” place for that (if at all) would have been in the typewritten line. Second, I would want my children at a school where the principal is self-confident enough not to want to have to lord over everyone the fact that he or she holds a “doctorate” degree. Third, the lay person’s immediate impression of “Dr.” is of the medical kind. It is the first of the two definitions for “doctor,” Now, “Dr.” Imel could very well have graduated from medical school and be a psychiatrist — in which case, what’s she doing as a principal? — but that is unclear (and therefore, unintentionally or not, misleading) and in any case, once again, the proper place for that information would be in the typewritten line underneath the signature line.

    “Dr.” Imel may very well be a very kind and nice person (certainly the body of her letter conveys that impression, but her projected “confidence” (if that’s what this is all about) in her apparently standard signature leaves me with a bit of a strange impression.

  14. Bob Ussery says:

    Simply stated fire the loser, such poor tastes and morals does not belong in leadership in a tax funded school system. Fire the loser.

  15. Imagine if this had been done after BHO was elected president. Idiots.

  16. Butch James says:

    Liberals have a manic obsession with diversity of gender and diversity of racism, but condemn ANY and all diversity of thought outside of the liberal agenda.

  17. Hey this is just the public education and those wonderful tolerant liberals. Cant believe that they actually did anything. The left would normally claim freedom of speech unless one of these tombstones said Obama than it was bad, but I am sure since it was Trump it was fine according to the left and the public school teachers.

  18. Yeah….accident…….unintentionally……my bad…..unintentionally…… parents involved have since apologized……..yeah, sure they did.

  19. Vox Veritas says:

    A clue as to who might have been behind this: There are no bloody heads, tombstones, etc. of Obama, the Clintons, or any other Democrats.

  20. Kelly Anne says:

    Disgusting. Glouster is a city that caters to illegals and drug lords. Yeah, I can see why they hate Trump. They are not going to enroll 300 “children” coming here illegally, only to find most of them are over the age of 20.

  21. Vox Veritas says:

    Anyone else recall the Missouri rodeo clown who was fired just for wearing an Obama mask?

    Certain representatives of certain communities are off limits.

    Pity the poor white, Christian, heterosexual, conservative male. Still open season on him and ‘his people’.

  22. Gene Paul says:

    I feel sorry for the children of this biased and hate filled parent who built the tombstone and probably preaches inclusion acceptance and every other liberal mantra at home but in reality is a bigot

  23. 2 words. Home School.
    Stop supporting Democrats Ponzi schemes.

  24. What will teachers/school systems do when the public just goes ‘meh’ at the next school incident ? After minimalizing death and disruption as ‘education’ hardening the kids already hardened with video killing, the public may just harden about school incidents. School systems, leading by example …. right.

  25. Paul Cauchon says:

    But wait! The presence of the tombstone was way beyond microaggression, it was a malicious and insidious attempt to gaslight our children into believing the President of the United States’ death was playful and appropriate party fare. Where’s Elizabeth Warren when you really need here?

  26. Hugh Tjardon says:

    This is how the public is destroying public education. Idiots; and, then they complain.

  27. Fiery Blue says:

    How about a Hillary-faced witch?
    (The reality, of course, is that it was, in fact, Hillary that was buried!)

  28. Ricky Pucheu says:

    Give me just one generation of youth, and I’ll transform the whole world. ~ Vladimir Lenin

    Give me a child for the first 5 years of his life and he will be mine forever. ~ Vladimir Lenin

    Time to fire all the communists who’ve infiltrated our education system and put a stop to the indoctrination.

  29. Take you children out of the public school system. It has become nothing but a propaganda machine for the left filled with incompetent America hating teachers.

  30. If the tombstone contained the name of Obama, she would undoubtedly be looking for another job.

  31. Paul Roberts says:

    The Liberals just keep on wining and pouting. They are going to raise a new generation of sissies and violent terrorists.

  32. Bob Suyak says:

    Liberals = democrats = the folks that started the KKK, we know where the hate comes from.

  33. Where did this hate come from America????

  34. James Dunham says:

    Hitler use to teach children to hate the same way…..quit being political in our children’s schools!!!

  35. Stu Pedasso says:

    That principal is showing a lot of class with his apology, but I’m thinking the parent who set that tombstone up is the one who should be doing the apology.

  36. If the principal was there and did nothing about it, he should be fired. If he wasn’t there, he should be fired.

  37. Elena Bowman says:

    I am so sick of these pretend Americans who think that they only they have the right to decide who should or should not be our President. So they hate President Trump….suggestion..pack your bags and get the hell out of my country. Go find one that suits your ideology and don’t come back…leave now!

  38. Haters are going to hate and indoctrinate our children at the grade school level.

  39. Brett Duhon says:

    Sounds like they need to lose their jobs.

  40. Jim Lively says:

    I dont see this as hate speech. When I was a kid we did the same thing with famous personalities of our day and even family members. ITS HALLOWEEN and not meant to be taken seriously for crying out loud.

    1. asudad90 says:

      Liberals feel they should be allowed to disrespect, be unpatriotic, teach children to hate. They’re “different, special, separate, apart and not like the rest of normal civilized society.”

  41. The principal should commit harakiri it’s the honorable thing to do!

  42. Jack Riley says:

    Disgusting, whether you like trump or not.

  43. Kevin Pyle says:

    Another domestic idiot

  44. asudad90 says:

    These are the liberal idiots killing our country and screwing up our kids.

  45. The left are child abusers.

  46. Let them have their fun…WE have the White House.

  47. What comes out of your mouth, is exactly how you are feeling in your heart.Apologies are skin deep, like beauty.Hypocrites.

  48. Were the children allowed to dress up as Pocahontas? Or is that culture appropriation, and only allowed for senators?

  49. A Secret Service visit will teach ’em a lesson and take the “fun” out of it.

  50. Zeke Bleeker says:

    If the Halloween prop had alluded to the then-instigator in the White House during the Obama regime, the Secret Service would have rewarded the parents with a nice formal visit. Little doubt about that.

  51. Just image how the excrement would have hit the fan if it was Obama’s name. No one should wonder why we are in the state we are in. Very sad.

  52. Willam Nat says:

    I heard Congresswoman Wilson was listening in on the principal’s conversation and heard it was a different “Don Trump” and that it wasn’t a tombstone but “happy stones”

  53. Don Steele says:

    Well..figures for Boston. And as someone who LIVES IN SW FLORIDA…where the RED SUX “play spring ball”…..I DON”T WANT YOU INVADING MY TOWN……..STAY AWAY!!!

  54. Jack Frost says:

    Who would have guessed that one of our Progressive Taliban would think it A-OK to do something disgusting like this? No one should wonder why the majority of mid-America (by area, virtually 98%) voted Trump… Our Progressive Taliban suffer from tunnel vision and arrogance – the downfall of MANY.

  55. rytwinger says:

    Apology NOT accepted. They need to FIRE the a$$wipe…..

  56. Yirmin Snipe says:

    You can be certain that the teachers responsible for this will be pushing their political beliefs to the students on a continual basis all year long… That’s the way brainwashing works, you tell kids long enough that liberal are right and they will believe it no matter how wrong it really is.

    The teachers responsible should be removed.

  57. Man, I swear you conservatards and libtards cry about anything that bashes your dear leader.

  58. use hillary, obama, and bill, then see whar would happen…

  59. Bessie Funk says:

    The Coastal Party formerly known as the democrat Party is all about violence and good luck if they think that’s a good strategy. Severed heads, shooting half the Republican softball team, threatening to blow up the WH, Missouri Senator outright calling for assassination, twitter death threats. You are not taking this loss very well huh…read “What Happened”…nevermind, ill save you the $24…Ill tell you What Happened…she LOST

  60. No surprise. This is who the radical liberals are. Very mean-spirited, divisive, emotionally undeveloped, hate filled, people. Sad and pathetic.

  61. Ron Kirk says:

    “..Principal Dr. Telena Imel..”. Let me guess what race.

  62. Ron Kirk says:

    I’m sure each tombstone will get a ‘participation’ trophy.

  63. this shouldn’t be but became a story that was too highly elevated.

  64. Bill Smith says:

    And what do you think would have happened if a white conservative school principle had a tombstone with the name Barrack Obama on it, during his administration? I’m pretty sure the parents would have marched on the school, and the teacher would have been fired.

    That’s what should happen here.

  65. Middle and even elementary school is where kids are learning that your gender is based on how you feel on any particular morning. I guess I’m old but when did people start doing this to kids? Let them grow up, they’ll have the opportunity to jump in the political fray soon enough.

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