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A Minnesota school district has denounced a Nazi-themed invite to a school dance that was posted by a student on social media. But a local Jewish organization says there’s more work to be done.
Earlier this week, a student at Minnetonka High School posted an image of the invite on her private Instagram account that quickly went viral: Two teenagers holding a sign that reads, “Sweethearts would be a Hit(ler) w/you, and I could Nazi myself going w/anybody else. Be Mein? Yes or Nein.” Sweethearts is the name of the Valentine’s Day dance at the school. The teens holding the sign were also doing Nazi salutes.
The girl who posted the photo gave it the caption, “Also I would like to state I am not anti-Semitic in any way, I hate all races equally.”
The idea that such a message could be posted in a light-hearted way was thoroughly rejected by both school administration and community leaders. According to the Star Tribune, Principal Jeff Erikson emailed students and staff to denounce and admonish the post, saying the “deeply offensive message in no way aligns with our school core values: do the right thing and represent us well.”
Steve Hunegs, the executive director of Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), also gave a statement: “Such images both insult the memory of Hitler’s victims, as well as the heroic Minnesotans who fought to defeat Nazism.” Less than a year ago, the JCRC organized a school assembly at Minnetonka High School for students to hear local Holocaust survivor Judith Meisel speak about her experiences.
Unfortunately, it seems that some of the students didn’t absorb the seriousness of the topic. Hunegs thanked Erikson for responding quickly, and continued, “In light of the situation, the JCRC stands ready to provide additional Holocaust education resources and guidance on how to support the district’s Jewish students and families.”
Privacy laws prevent schools from identifying students or disciplinary actions they may face, but Erikson assured the students and staff in an email that they will “take this matter seriously and are committed to ensuring a safe, positive environment for all students.”
H/T Star Tribune
Alex Dalbey is a writer and zinester currently working out of St. Paul, Minnesota. They have bylines at The Daily Dot, Kill Screen, and Bullet Points. Follow them on Twitter @thedialogtree