Students, parents want Nazi reference removed from High Tech High School 2020 yearbook; board says probe un – nj.com

Posted By on July 1, 2020

The administration at High Tech High School has launched an investigation after students and parents at the Secaucus school claimed a senior used a commonly recognized anti-Semitic, white supremacist hate symbol as his yearbook quote.

An online petition demanding that the Board of Education acknowledge and apologize for the incident and help distribute replacement yearbook pages has gained more than 400 signatures since it was created Monday.

On a page of quotes that students chose to represent themselves in the 2020 yearbook, one student chose 88, a number that the Anti-Defamation League calls one of the most common white supremacist symbols. The group says its a numerical code 8 standing for H, the eighth letter in the alphabet for Heil Hitler.

The entire Hudson County Schools of Technology community prides itself on being an open and welcoming learning environment where students of all backgrounds can feel comfortable and supported, said Amy Lin-Rodriguez, superintendent of the Hudson County Schools of Technology. Recently, an issue was brought to our attention by concerned parents regarding the High Tech High School yearbook.

Pursuant to district policy and state law, we have opened an investigation into the situation that is being conducted by our District Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (HIB) Coordinator, (who) is a district level administrator. State law precludes the district from commenting on the matter any further until that investigation is completed.

The students and parents who created the petition said they first directly contacted the school board and superintendent, urging them to publicly address the issue and send out new versions of the yearbook page. After simply being told that the district had opened an investigation, the group started the petition.

The yearbooks represent the graduates high school years and how they will remember where they grew up, the group said. We dont want the yearbook to have Nazi numerology in it. Our diverse school is supposed to be better than that. We want to be able to look back on this and be glad that the adults in charge did something to fix it and stand up to hate.

Many petitioners commented, some saying they are alumni and disappointed to see that the administration let the senior quote make it into publication.

One commenter, Daphne Anshel, said her profession gave her insight into how the incident could affect the community.

As a child psychologist, I know the impact of implicit acceptance of racist hateful discourse, she said.

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Students, parents want Nazi reference removed from High Tech High School 2020 yearbook; board says probe un - nj.com

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