SWC Urges San Dieguito Union High School District to Take Action After Carmel Valley Middle School Teacher Posted Hitler Next to Gandhi, FDR, JFK, MLK in Classroom

October 6, 2022

One Brave 12-Year-Old Called Out His Teacher

The Simon Wiesenthal has urged the San Dieguito Union High School District  to take proactive action against Carmel Valley Middle School where Adolf Hitler's portrait was placed alongside inspirational historical leaders  including US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi, US president John F Kennedy, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and American civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. When a Jewish student complained the teacher responded “Hitler may have done some bad things, but he also had strong leadership qualities.” The Principal’s initial action was to excuse the boy, who is Jewish, from the class. The Principal has since apologized.

In a letter to the heads of San Dieguito Union High School District, Superintendent’s Office and Carmel Valley Middle School, SWC Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action Agenda, Rabbi Abraham Cooper said that “we need to understand that Hitler was not just another “leader “and “Nazism” was not just another political movement. If you want to compare Hitler’s “leadership qualities” present him next to photographs of Stalin, Mao and the Ayatollah Khamenei, not icons of liberty and human decency.”

Cooper, urged that all history teachers in the district and their students spend a day at the SWC’s renowned Museum of Tolerance adding that “such hate almost destroyed civilization and bigotry is alive and well in today’s America in many forms… Please let’s make sure our teachers receive the proper training and our children receive an education that infuses them with basic ethical values.”

To view full letter click here

For further information, please email Michele Alkin, Director of Global Communications at malkin@wiesenthal.com or Shawn Rodgers at srodgers@wiesenthal.com, join the Center on Facebook, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent directly to your Twitter feed.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is an international Jewish human rights organization numbering over 400.000 members. It holds consultative status at the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the OAS, and the Latin American Parliament (PARLATINO).

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