Students Feeling the Effects of Political Polarization at Northwest Iowa High School

Jan 30, 2018

At a recent Iowa high school basketball game, the visiting team had to endure racist chants by rival students in the stands. During this hour of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with a school superintendent about how the immigration debate is impacting one of Iowa's most diverse communities. 

Carl Turner is superintendent at Storm Lake High School. His community is 85 percent minority, and at a recent basketball game with rival Spencer, students from Spencer dressed up in patriotic clothes and chanted "go back to where you came from" according to newspaper reports. 

"It's a spirited rivalry," says Turner. "Some students decided to take things to the next level and made it personal. The Spencer administration stepped in and dealt with it all right away and did a really good job handling the situation." 

Turner says the immigration debate and the rhetoric around it is hard on his students, and this is a good example. 

"We have a lot of adults who just aren't giving our kids a good example of how to treat each other."