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New Jersey School Removes “Offensive” Holocaust Poster Created By 6th Graders

Featuring: a swastika interlocked with a Star of David, blood droplets on an Israeli flag, cupcakes. Read More

By / April 10, 2014

A school in New Jersey recently removed a Holocaust-themed poster created by its sixth grade students, after a Jewish staffer took offense at the content and filed a complaint with Fairview Superintendent Louis DeLisio.

The Lincoln School students created a series of posters in response to Lois Lowry’s classic Holocaust novel Number the Stars, which tells the story of a friendship between two Danish girls—one Jewish, one Christian—during World War Two. The offending poster featured “a swastika interlocked with the Star of David, red droplets on the Israeli flag that appear to be blood, photographs of Jewish children with Xs through their faces, magazine cut-outs of a number of prohibited foods.” It’s not exactly a sophisticated or historically accurate response, but it is sincere and well-intentioned—so, pretty much what you’d expect from a group of sixth graders.

The staff member, who is not a full-time employee of the district, spoke to NJ.com on the condition of anonymity, because she was concerned that her complaint might lead to her being “targeted” at work. She said that the poster had been hung in a hallway that many students passed, without any contextualizing information. “It’s highly offensive to anybody, especially someone who is Jewish and whose family members were survivors of the Holocaust.”

Principal Lea Turro, who initially heard the complaint, informed the staffer that the poster would not be removed until Wednesday, when the curriculum was scheduled to change. DeLisio made the decision to remove the poster on Tuesday, after speaking with all the relevant parties.

“I run across this every once in a while, where one sector of our population is offended, and we always try to compromise,” he told NJ.com. “We’re not trying to offend anyone… my true feeling is they (the students) did not have any ill-intention with this poster… I think it’s a learning process for everyone.”

Do you think the school was right to remove the poster?

(Image: NJ.com)