Students Had 'Build the Wall,' 'We Love White' Signs During Football Game, Principal Says

santa ana high school principal racism trump build that wall
Max Verstappen at a training session with the Del Valle Cardinals High School football team, on October 19, 2017. The principal of Santa Ana High School in California accused Aliso Niguel High School of racism during a football game on September 7, 2018. Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Jeff Bishop, the principal of Santa Ana High School in Orange County, California, called out students from rival school Aliso Niguel High School for what he believed were racist signs at a football game.

Last week, Santa Ana High School and Aliso Niguel High School faced off on the gridiron, and Bishop shared his experience on Facebook after the game. He wrote that the Santa Ana Saints team walked into the stadium and were greeted with politically and racially charged posters that read "Build the Wall" and "We love White."

Bishop praised the Santa Ana school coach for not allowing the "unchristian hate" from the home team's stands affect the Saints football team. After Aliso Niguel students chanted "USA-USA-USA" in celebration of scoring two touchdowns, Bishop said that "morally" he couldn't ignore it any longer. He spoke with the principal of the other school, who took the signs away from the "out-of-control students."

"I told her, 'You're playing Americans. You're playing 'Dreamers.' I don't understand the USA pride thing when you score. And if I hear it one more time, I am walking off the field with the team," Bishop told the Orange County Register.

Santa Ana High School's student body is 99 percent Latino, according to the Los Angeles Times, and Aliso Niguel's student body is predominantly white.

On Facebook, Bishop explained that when he told the principal she had a short time to "knock the racist, derogatory and demeaning behavior off, or else," she cried in disappointment. Despite being upset with how the students behaved, Bishop said he was very happy with how the principal quickly and appropriately handled the situation.

Bishop's post sparked a debate on social media as to whether the behavior was despicable or blown out of proportion. One user posted that the students were asked to wear red, white and blue ahead of the game.

While some took that as the administration encouraging the behavior, others argued that there was nothing racist about wearing red, white and blue. Aliso Niguel principal Deni Christensen told the Orange County Register it was to honor the upcoming anniversary of the attacks on September 11, 2001.

"[There] were two political signs," Christensen explained. "One said 'Bring back Obama,' and one said 'We're going to Trump you.'"

The Aliso Niguel principal said a "Trump 2020" sign was also removed and that she didn't see a "Build the Wall" sign. She didn't rule out that there wasn't one, though, because there could have been students with signs in the parking lot.

Bishop told the Orange County Register that he intended to go to the next Capistrano Unified School District board meeting to discuss the matter. As someone who lives a mile from Aliso Niguel High School, he said that he planned to go as a resident and not as a principal.