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Student drawings of Nazi party, Hitler displayed in Osceola County high school under investigation

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — An investigation is underway tonight over drawings referencing the Nazi party and Adolf Hitler in Harmony High School.

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Concerned parents alerted Channel 9 about the drawings. The principal said he didn’t know about the drawings and would look into it, then directed us to a district spokesperson who said the pictures were inappropriate.

One of the drawings shows a swastika and reads “Join the Nazi party.” Another reads “When you ride alone, you ride with Hitler,” a recreation of a well-known World War II poster used to inspire Americans on the home front to save gas for the war.

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The principal initially said he didn’t know about the drawings and would look into it, then directed Channel 9 to a district spokesperson.

In a prepared statement, the school district said, “The drawings have been removed. Nowhere in our Curriculum Unit Plans that teachers follow are students asked to create such items as part of any approved lessons. It is not appropriate, and will be handled by the school’s administration.”

To Dori Gerber, who helps educators understand how to teach things like Judaism to students, it’s disturbing.

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“It’s extremely triggering for the Jewish students of that school, but also for any student or faculty member of any minority population,” she said. “That’s a hate symbol.”

It’s not immediately clear if the drawings were part of some assignment.

Gerber said she wants to know that, too.

“I wonder, what was the thought process?” Gerber said. “When teaching about these complex, complicated and sensitive topics, teachers really need to do their due diligence to ensure that what they’re teaching has strong academic value and merit.”

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.

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