WILDER, Idaho (AP) — Ivanka Trump, President Donald Trump’s daughter and White House adviser, and Apple CEO Tim Cook visited a heavily Hispanic Idaho school district Tuesday to trumpet her workforce development initiative promoting science, technology, engineering and math, White House officials said.
Apple in 2016 donated iPads to all students and teachers in the low income school district in the small city of Wilder as part of a program to help students lacking access to technology. School officials said that the visit would showcase how the district has combined learning and technology.
But as a small group of Trump supporters and opponents demonstrated outside the elementary school toured by Ivanka Trump and Cook, several students from the high school next door walked out of class in protest.
They said the iPads offer self-guided lessons that give them no interaction with teachers except to unlock quizzes and advance to the next learning sections. The students say they expected to be suspended.
The district is one of southwestern Idaho’s poorest, and was one of 114 low-income schools in 29 states that Apple helped with iPad donations. Virtually all of the city’s elementary students meet low income guidelines to receive free or reduced cost lunches and a majority of the district’s students are Hispanic.
Wilder has a population of less than 2,000 and has been largely Hispanic for decades, with many residents working seasonal jobs harvesting onions and other crops, and others who have full-time jobs at a meat processing plant.
About 30 protesters used the visit by Ivanka Trump to demonstrate against her father’s immigration policies. Trump has deployed thousands of troops to the Mexican border, saying a caravan of migrants is a threat to U.S. national security, intent on exploiting America’s asylum law. He has also threatened to challenge the constitutionally protected right to birthright citizenship.
“When babies at the border are under attack, what do we do?” protester Estefania Mondragon asked a crowd of about 30 people.
They responded: “Stand up, fight back!”
About a dozen Trump supporters shouted “We love Trump!”
Ridler reported from Boise.