Florida students threatened after dressing up as Trump, 'the wall'

Paltaka teens receive death threats over homecoming week costumes

By Jim Piggott - Reporter

PALATKA, Fla. - Two teenage girls received online death threats in response to their homecoming week costumes -- one dressed up as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and the other as "the wall."

Additional officers were called to Palatka High School Tuesday, the day after Cassidy Cushman posted a photo on her Facebook page. The photo showed Cushman dressed as "the wall" and her friend, Shelby McCellan, wearing a Trump costume for the start of homecoming week, which had a theme of America on Monday. 

Cassidy and Shelby said they were met with threats and taunts online and at school over their costumes. Cassidy said she notified law enforcement officers because of the threats. 

"We had additional staff to Palatka High School, which is only staff(ed) with two resource deputies. We added a third resource deputy in that school and we also worked with the Putnam County School District Police Department and provided some additional manpower just to make sure tensions were not going to remain high and there were not going to be any problems," Capt. Joe Wells said. 

The girls said they did not mean any harm by the costumes. 

"There was nothing racist and/or mean about (the) choice of costume. They are just strong in their political beliefs," Shelby's mother said. "Both myself and the other girl's mother spoke with the school principal this morning. And he, along with other staff, saw no issue with the costumes the girls had on."

The Facebook post drew comments from teenagers and adults. As of late Tuesday afternoon, Cassidy's Facebook post had nearly 300 comments and over 50 shares.

Some students at the high school said they were offended by the costumes, while other classmates said they stood behind the girls.

"It shouldn't be a problem. Everybody should have their own opinion," a student said.

There were no incidents at the school Tuesday.

Copyright 2016 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.