Opinion: Hitler Youth should not be allowed in local schools

May 20, 2019 at 08:00 am by Michelle Willard

Hitler Youth should not be allowed in local schools

In October 2017, we came together as a community to show white supremacists that they are not welcome in our community only for the school system to show that they are welcome in our classrooms.

You don't have to be a radical to know that Nazis are bad, yet a fifth-grade student was treated like a radical for admonishing a group of her male classmates for performing “Sieg Heil,” the Nazi victory salute multiple times around the campus of McFadden School of Excellence.

Aside from the blatant antisemitism that was allowed at the school, I was appalled at the administration's response to the rightful outrage expressed by the student.

Instead of being commended for her values, she was pulled out of class for "being disrespectful with her tone and body language to teachers," according to one news report. 

Does that mean she was being "too emotional?"

The boys were not treated equally for exhibiting hate speech in the classroom. Instead, they were given what I called a talking to about their actions. But is that enough to impress on their young minds the extent of the atrocities perpetrated by Hitler's authoritarian regime? Apparently learning about it the first time didn't teach them enough.

By pulling this young woman out of class for her response, the administration treated her as women have been treated throughout history for being hysterical when confronting outrageous behavior by men.

They may say she wasn't punished, but she was admonished and made to stand apart from her classmates for doing what she, and the rest of us, know to be right.

And who thought it was a good idea in the first place to have a student dress as Adolf Hitler, one of the most vile men in history, to demonstrate history? Couldn't they have pick a more appropriate figure to depict the atrocities of World War II?

I know of at least one student in Rutherford County Schools whose great-grandparents were held in German concentration camps. We should not be normalizing Nazis. 

It also appears as if the school board intends to skip Hitler next year with its ""The school will find alternative means of covering the fifth-grade history standard." What does that mean exactly?

I think these children need to learn more about the worst period of human history, not less. Show them exactly why it's not acceptable to present the "Nazi victory salute."

Bill Spurlock decided his best course of action was to send a letter to parents about how this type of actions is not condoned by the school system.

The letter is a nice gesture but it still doesn't make up for the outrageous actions that allowed those boys to perpetuate hate speech at one of the leading schools in the county.

Overall, this was a failure on all levels by Rutherford County Schools, and I am disgusted and infuriated over how this was allowed to happen.

Edmund Burke said "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

Well, our school system showed one girl if she does stand up for what she knows to be right, she will be the one punished.

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