THEODORE, Ala. (WKRG) – A private school in Theodore is under fire for encouraging students to dress up as homeless people for spirit week. The school, Lighthouse Baptist Academy, shared photos of the students dressed up for “Hobo Day” on Monday.

Students could be seen on the school’s Instagram story wearing beanies, flannels, and holding cardboard signs that said phrases like, “Will work for fries!”

After posting the photos, they were removed after several alumni and people in the community reacted negatively to the theme.

WKRG News 5 reached out to the school for comment about the controversy. They declined our request for an interview but sent us this statement:

“As we do each year, this week is our Spirit Week here at LBA. Each day has a theme allowing our students to dress up accordingly. Yesterday’s “Hobo Day” was unfortunately not reviewed as thoroughly as it should have been by our administration. We did not intend to make light of the homeless in our community. Following Christ’s example in the New Testament, we strive to teach our students to love and actively support those who’ve fallen into hard times and we will continue to do so. That theme, or any like it, will not be used in Spirit Week in the future.”

Statement from an administrator at Lighthouse Baptist Academy

Lighthouse Baptist Academy also posted the statement on their Facebook page, where some parents of students reacted positively.

Lighthouse Baptist Academy says the primary objective and purpose of the school is to train each student in the way of life presented in the Scriptures while giving them a good general education.