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Germantown school apologizes and explains Nazi pic in yearbook

GERMANTOWN, Tenn. — Leaders of the Germantown School District are apologizing for a photo that appears in the Houston Middle School yearbook.

The photo shows two students dressed in Nazi-type uniforms, one with a Swastika on his hat.

According to the school district, the students were taking part in a program designed to study racism, prejudice and anti-Semitism.

An apology from the district stated it “does not condone the placement of photos of this nature in any school publication and apologizes to anyone who was offended by the insensitive image.”

Dear Parents,

I would like to clarify a picture in the yearbook. At Houston Middle, one of our classes is Facing History and Ourselves, which is an “international educational and professional development organization whose mission is to engage students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of racism, prejudice, and antisemitism in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry.”

This particular lesson was entitled The Nazis in Power: Discrimination, Obedience, and Opportunism. The goal was to examine the racism and prejudice that occurred in Germany before and after Hitler became dictator. Students analyzed primary source documents and drew conclusions about racism and prejudices under the Nazi regime. Through role-playing, the students were asked to draw conclusions about unjust laws in Nazi Germany. This activity led to students reflecting on discrimination today and how to confront unjust laws in our society.

We apologize that the yearbook picture may have offended anyone or has caused misunderstanding of our intent. As a matter of fact, this class and our annual Days of Diversity event are in place to help teach our students the importance and appreciation of our diverse world. Houston Middle celebrates diversity.

We are very fortunate to live in a community that is supportive of cultural diversity. We thank you for your support.

Thank you,

Liz Dias

Principal