A quote by Adolf Hitler was displayed in a hallway at Westside Middle School on Monday, prompting an apology from the school’s principal.
In an email to students, families and staff Monday night, the school addressed the quote, apologizing “for the insensitivity this showed to our Jewish population and to other students.”
“We made a mistake today at WMS,” the email, signed by Westside Middle School Principal Kim Eymann and Superintendent Mike Lucas, began. “We allowed a ‘quote of the day’ from Adolf Hitler to be displayed on a board in one of our hallways.”
The quote, “The man who has no sense of history is like a man with no ears or eyes,” was displayed by a staff member in an eighth grade hallway on a marker board, said Brandi Paul, a spokeswoman for Westside Community Schools.
“We don’t believe there was any malicious intent behind it whatsoever, but malicious intent or not, it was something that needed to be addressed,” Paul said.
School officials are working with the Institute for Holocaust Education and Anti-Defamation League on education efforts. The institute led efforts last fall and again this week on Holocaust education, and the ADL is in discussions with Lucas about doing anti-bias training for the entire district.
The email also shared steps the school would be taking, which include teaching students it’s not appropriate to quote, without context, the Nazi leader who instigated World War II and the Holocaust.
The school will also provide staff with additional professional development in providing an inclusive, safe learning environment, and develop protocols to prevent a similar incident from happening again.
“... This is not indicative of the culture we are trying to set,” the email ends. “We are extremely sorry that this occurred.”
Paul declined to share specifics on the staff member who displayed the quote, but said officials “are taking action” to address the issue.
“We’re going to move forward and try to learn what we can from this,” Paul said.
The Westside district is working with the Institute for Holocaust Education on Holocaust education efforts. This story has been updated to add that information.
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