Virginia school district apologizes for a swastika-like logo

Published date05 August 2022
Publication titleJerusalem Post, The: Web Edition Articles (Israel)
Hanover County Public Schools, just north of Richmond, this week unveiled T-shirts and conference materials with a logo of what the superintendent said was "four hands and arms grasping together." But local Jewish groups and others, including a Jewish candidate for Virginia's House of Delegates, instead saw something that looked too much like the swastika

"We are deeply sorry for this mistake and for the emotions that the logo has evoked by its semblance to a swastika and, by extension, to the atrocities that were committed under its banner," Michael Gill, the district's superintendent, said in a statement Wednesday, in which he blamed the logo's creation on "one of our teachers" who said it had been done "without any ill-intent."

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"Unquestionably, we condemn anything associated with the Nazi regime in the strongest manner possible," Gill wrote.

Gill's apology came after objections to the logo were raised by the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond, the Anti-Defamation League, the Virginia Holocaust Museum, the interfaith nonprofit Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities and other civil rights groups, including the local NAACP chapter.

"We appreciate the swift and definitive response of Superintendent Michael Gill," the federation's CEO, Daniel Staffenberg, said in a statement. Staffenberg added that the groups planned to meet with Gill to "ensure that the voice of Jewish students and those of other minority faiths are heard and respected."

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