Virginia school system apologizes for t-shirt with swastika-like logo | State and Area News

The superintendent of schools in Hanover, Virginia is apologizing for the district by using a logo on T-shirts and other materials that resembles a swastika.

The logo was used at a Hanover County Public Schools Professional Learning Conference this week.

T-shirts distributed for a Hanover County Public Schools conference feature a logo that resembles a swastika.

Courtesy picture

“One of our teachers designed the logo with the intention that it depict four hands and arms holding together – a symbol of unity for our countywide professional learning conference. Nothing more,” Superintendent Michael Gill wrote in a message to families and staff.

“While we are confident that the logo was created without any malicious intent, we understand that this has deeply upset members of our staff and community who view the logo as resembling a swastika.”

People also read…

  • DG MARTIN: Impossible to prevent the move of UNC to Raleigh
  • CABARRUS COUNTY FOOTBALL DASHBOARD: Friday, September 9, matches
  • Friday Five: Cabarrus County Fair, a grand opening and more development
  • Concord Police release names of Concord Mills shooting suspects, suspect dies
  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Trojans travel to Mount Pleasant and walk away with second straight win
  • SECONDARY FOOTBALL: Cream of Cabarrus ranking of week 4
  • Business is booming in Kannapolis with three major projects on the northeast side of the city
  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Breaking down tonight’s games
  • COLUMN C. JEMAL HORTON: Crossing Jordan: Bulls senior moves on to an even brighter future
  • Concord Mills Mall fatal police shooting 9-1-1 calls, suspect died in hospital
  • Cabarrus College will launch two new nursing programs
  • “Here’s the fun” – The Cabarrus County Fair returns on Friday
  • Memphis police identify body of kidnapped jogger and teacher
  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Bulls fall behind early, can’t come back against new foe Chambers
  • Queen Elizabeth II, British monarch for 70 years, has died

Gill said the administration has stopped distributing the logo T-shirts and staff are working to remove the logo from all conference materials.

“We are deeply sorry for this error and for the emotions the logo has evoked by its resemblance to a swastika and, by extension, the atrocities that have been committed under its banner,” Gill wrote.

“Unquestionably, we condemn anything associated with the Nazi regime in the strongest possible terms.”

Gill had no involvement in the development or revision of the logo, according to district spokesman Chris Whitley.

Going forward, the administration will reevaluate the logo review process, Whitley said.

In a Monday afternoon letter, the NAACP said the incident is another example of the urgent need for diversity, equity and inclusion training and professional development required for all HCPS employees, including the school board and the supervisory board.

“We stand in solidarity with our Jewish brothers and sisters in speaking out against this callousness,” reads the letter signed by Hannover NAACP president Patricia Hunter-Jordan. “We appreciate and respect Superintendent Gill’s apology. However, the mere oversight of a single individual cannot explain this pattern of lack of diversity and refusal to make substantive changes that would result in the new direction of our schools…”

Last week, the NAACP wrote a letter urging Hannover’s board of supervisors to “reconsider” certain school board appointments and to require both boards to participate in diversity, equity and inclusion training.

Newly appointed school board member Johnny Redd, who was criticized in the letter in part for his earlier comments about using a biblical worldview to analyze policy, responded by referring to Hunter-Jordan as a “angry african american woman”. He then apologized.

The Anti-Defamation League’s Washington regional office said in a statement to The Times-Dispatch on Wednesday that the ADL appreciates Gill’s quick response to the community and his recognition of the incident’s impact on the Jewish community. and other marginalized groups targeted by whites. supremacy and hatred.

“We were deeply disturbed when we saw the image, and with anti-Semitic incidents continuing to reach historic highs across the country and the Commonwealth, it was heartbreaking for many in our community to see this symbol – which so closely resembles a swastika – to be used for a conference for educators,” the Washington ADL statement said in part.

According to an annual ADL audit, 46 anti-Semetic incidents were reported in Virginia last year, a 6% decrease from 49 incidents reported in 2020 and a 64% increase from 28 incidents reported in 2019 .

Virginia was the state with the 15th highest number of anti-Semitic incidents reported in the United States last year, according to the ADL.

White supremacist propaganda rises in Virginia as groups work to counter hate messages

The Anti-Defamation League reports that Virginia had the second highest number of incidents involving white supremacist propaganda last year.

Jeremy S. McLain