“People of Walmart” costume has Louisiana principal in hot water

Principal and coach of Louisiana high school wear a controversial "People of Walmart" costume

CROWLEY, Louisiana (KLFY) – Acadia Parish residents have mixed emotions about a photo featuring two educators at a costume party earlier this month.

Iota Middle School Principal Lee Ann Wall and her husband Jeptha Wall, who is a coach at Crowley High School, appear in the image.

Their costumes are described as “People of Walmart.” Jeptha can be seen wearing a red bandana around his waist with a gun tucked into his belt and money coming out of his pocket.

In front of Lee Ann is a basket full of black and white baby dolls and sign that read, “You wait on pay day, I be waiting for da first of da month!”

The photo was sent to KLFY by a viewer who called it a “display of classism and racism.” But not everyone thinks it should be taken so seriously.

Penny Fontenot lives in Iota and says sometimes a costume is just that: a costume. “If they’re teaching your children right from wrong in the schools, what does a costume have to do with it?”

We showed the photo to several other folks in Acadia Parish. They believe the costume choice crossed the line.

“Wow, okay. So what is she trying to depict? Somebody who’s on welfare? If that is what she was trying to depict that’s even worse.” Alan Honersucker told KLFY’s Dalfred Jones.

Nathan Kresge, who also live in Iota said, “To make fun of people that just can’t afford a better way of life, to make fun of them? That’s just ridiculous!”

Fontenot believes it just looks like a couple of people having some halloween fun, “It’s no big deal, it’s a costume, So, let them enjoy themselves while they still can.”

Ellan Baggett, the Executive Director of Operations with the Acadia Parish School Board, says it was a private party, not school related.

Bagget also said the school board has taken appropriate action, although she could not tell us what those actions were.

We made several calls to both Crowley High and Iota Middle for a comment from Lee Ann and Jeptha Wall. They have not returned our messages.

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