A middle school principal in Lufkin, Texas, has been placed on administrative leave after a since-deleted Facebook comment decrying immigrants surfaced.
William Dugat is the eighth-grade principal at Lufkin Middle School. He commented on a photo a woman there posted of herself with Beto O’Rourke, Sen. Ted Cruz’ Democratic challenger in the upcoming election, who was in Lufkin on a campaign stop Thursday.
“I worry about the USA looking like Mexico and South America with so many illegal aliens being welcomed to our country,” Dugat said in a reply to the woman’s post. “Guess we are doomed to have a dirty country either way.”
By Friday, the comment had been deleted, but not before screenshots began to circulate. The central part of Dugat’s criticism of undocumented immigration appears to stem not from a point of policy, but based on how Mexican and South American immigrants make America “look.”
The Lufkin Daily News was the first to report on Dugat’s suspension Sunday.
“Tell me why this man is making these type of comments on social media?” Lufkin resident Leslie Guerrero said in a Facebook review on the Lufkin ISD Facebook page Sunday afternoon, along with one of those screenshots. “Is it because it is an acceptable opinion in Lufkin? In East Texas? Should his “kids” respect him knowing he feels this way? Does he empower other teachers to share this filth? How about, does he influence kids? Teens? bullies? Are we dirty Mexicans? Dirty. Brown. People. Are we Principal Dugat?”
The district was made aware of Dugat’s post on Friday, according to Lufkin ISD spokeswoman Sheila Adams.
“We do not support or condone his actions or comments,” Adams said in a statement to McClatchy. “He was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation of the incident.”
Dugat did not immediately respond to requests for comment from McClatchy or from KTRE.