In response to the display of a Nazi flag in their classroom, a Rio Americano teacher has been placed on administrative leave while the district conducts an investigation into the matter.
After students created an Instagram account to draw attention to the issue, the flag was taken down and administration has announced the creation of an equity team on campus, comprised of students, parents and staff, in order to educated students in a safe and inclusive manner.
The teacher’s union, school district and site administration have denounced the use of the flag.
“While images and symbols representative of hate may be used in textbooks and resource materials to provide historical context, displaying a flag with a swastika in such an egregious manner was unnecessary and created an unsafe environment for students,” said Principal Brian Ginter in a May 19 announcement sent out to students.
In response to the incident, administration is pulling together resources and materials for teaching staff to use in order to have appropriate conversations in their classrooms with students on the matter.
“The teacher in this instance has used flags from Nazi Germany as an instructional aid in past years as part of classroom lessons,” said Ginter. “Site administration has previously expressed concerns to the teacher related to this practice and it is not reflective of where we are as a school community.”
As staff evaluates curriculum standards and further investigates the teacher’s use of the flag for instruction, the school has taken a clear stand against the use of such flag in this context.
“Our focus when teaching lessons grounded in history is to provide historically accurate content in a safe and inclusive environment for students,” said Ginter. “In this particular instance, it is not wrong to have conversations about propaganda tactics in Nazi Germany, but there is a better way to do so without prominently displaying a symbol of hate in the classroom.”
The full statements released by the school can be viewed here. More information to come.