A group of Coachella Valley 4th graders are getting a free ticket to the Living Desert after their recent field trip was marred by a man who hurled racial obscenities at them while they visited the park.
In a letter sent to parents on Tuesday, Katherine Finchy Elementary School Principal Matt Hammond alerted parents to the incident that happened as the class was leaving the coyote exhibit to head to another part of the park. Hammon says that the trouble started when the student’s teacher spoke to the class in both English and Spanish.
“There was a random man who overheard this and proceeded to yell obscenities at the teacher and the children pertaining to their Hispanic heritage and culture,” Hammond said in the letter.
The children were moved away from the area and the man was reported to the Living Desert, but the man returned later and continued yelling at the class. At that point, an employee of the Living Desert called security.
“Once management was made aware of the situation, the guest was immediately escorted out of the park,” The Living Desert said in a statement to Cactus Hugs. “We have a zero-tolerance policy for inappropriate and/or offensive behavior, and we pride ourselves on being an open and welcoming place for all in our community.”
The statement added, “All students and staff members on the field trip are receiving a free admission ticket to The Living Desert.”
“I believe the teacher handled it well,” A parent of one of the children on the field trip (who wished to remain anonymous) told Cactus Hugs. “However I have my kids now asking why others hate them so much.”