When a student at a Chicago high school entered the Halloween costume contest dressed as a Nazi soldier and offered the Nazi salute onstage, the principal was suspended.
The principal of Jones College Prep, Joseph Powers, was shown on Twitter beside the student who wore the offensive costume during the school’s Halloween contest on October 31.
In other disturbing Twitter video, the youngster can be seen doing the Nazi salute while being jeered by the crowd.
Reports from the Chicago Sun-Times said that distressed students alerted Powers to the student, who then revealed that the young man was really disguised as a soldier from East Germany during the time of the Soviet occupation.
The kid who wore the uniform may have claimed others it was from the 1940s, according to a note Powers reportedly sent to school employees. “I attempted to explain the context and historical period of the costume to the students that talked with me,” Powers wrote.
I had a conversation with him this afternoon and went through the same information with him, as well as the possible conclusions people may reach, he said.
The South Loop school’s principal received criticism for how he handled an incident involving a student.
Isis Gullette, a high school senior, told WGN-TV that the images she and her classmates saw “instantly upset” them.
An employee of Block Club Chicago shared with the publication that one kid was so shaken up by the performance that they needed to take a mental health day following the competition.
An employee informed the publication, on condition of anonymity, that a student had complained about a kid in uniform making racial remarks.
The sick kid “is Jewish and homosexual, and they do not feel supported or secure at the school.” The employee complained to Block Club Chicago that Powers “never does anything about it,” and that the problem behavior persists.
One can always do anything they want without any repercussions. The worker said, “If you have enough rich white parents on your side, you can do anything the f— you want.”
Many of our children and staff arrived to school on Monday, October 31, dressed in Halloween costumes,” Powers said in his first mail to parents on Wednesday. We had a costume contest during Ac Lab that afternoon, and it was a lot of fun and the students really got into it,” the Chicago Tribune said.
A member of our school community stood out among the crowd in a military surplus army suit. Both faculty and students voiced their disapproval of the uniform, which they saw as a symbol of antisemitism. He also said that a video of the costume parade had surfaced online.
“I completely understand and am sorry for the distress and hurt that some people in our school community have experienced. All students’ safety is a top priority, so please know that we will not stand for any kind of bigotry on campus. This was probably not what the Halloween outfit was supposed to be,” Powers said.