MILPITAS (KPIX 5) — A Milpitas principal screaming “F*** Donald Trump” during a student walkout was placed on administrative leave, but is now back at school.
Cellphone cameras captured the principal screaming the profanity during a student walkout last Thursday. After that incident, the principal was put on administrative leave. Tuesday was his first day back on the job.
Principal Phil Morales, in the grey suit and shaved head, got a warm welcome on his first day back.
It’s also the first time students and staff got to see him after he wrote a letter of apology.
Morales said it was inspiring to see students expressing their feelings during the walkout last week, calling it courageous.
He said, “In that same moment of solidarity, I used poor judgment and expressed a profane word while addressing our students. I am deeply remorseful and I hope you will accept my sincere apology.”
Milpitas Unified School District Interim Superintendent Cheryl Jordan said she believes his apology is sincere.
Jordan called Principal Morales shortly after the clip was posted on social media, and decided to give him a second chance after looking at the context of that emotional day.
She says it’s powerful for kids to see adults apologize.
Jordan said, “Especially when we’re in positions of leadership, we have to be able to demonstrate compassion, we have to be able to demonstrate humility, and we also have to recognize each one of us is not perfect.”
The district sees this as a teachable moment to develop a sense of community, by adopting a so-called “Culture of We”.
“And we would really love for this to become a community wide effort, where we’re building a Culture of We, so that every person especially to one of our children, feels valued and that they belong here,” Jordan said.
Morales did not respond to our request for an interview, but everyone we spoke with on campus supported him.
Senior Erica Warren said, “We deserve to be heard. And a lot of people that voiced their opinions at that peaceful protest had that right. He gave us that opportunity, and I’m glad that he did.”