Students at Atlanta's Cobb Middle School doing Nazi salutes. (Screenshot) (Screeshot)
Cobb Middle School

Students donned swastika armbands, made Nazi salutes, and posted photos on Snapchat.

By Pesach Benson, United With Israel

A number of students at Atlanta’s East Cobb Middle School will face disciplinary action after posting on social media photos in which they donned a swastika armband and made Nazi salutes.

Brad Epstein said that his daughter, Hannah, who is an eighth-grader at Cobb, drew attention to the posts. According to local Atlanta reports, at least five photographs were posted and then subsequently taken down.

“She saw this on her Snapchat and before they disappeared, she was able to screen shot the photos,” Epstein told local station CBS46.

“So, I think it really started a couple of weeks ago. In their class they were reading a book and their backdrop was on the Holocaust. Several students felt that it was funny to make a few jokes about the Holocaust which she addressed it and she also let the teacher know and the teacher addressed the entire class saying this will not be tolerated,” Epstein said.

“Fast forward a week or two and we get images like this.”

The Cobb County School Board said the students would be disciplined. According to Epstein, three students were suspended for five days, but that has not been confirmed by the school or the board.

Epstein said he contacted the seven members of school board, but was disappointed that only one responded. He followed up with a scathing email criticizing their silence. “If this were racism in ANY other way, there would be a loud outcry. However, your silence in this matter implies that you ALL condone this type of behavior.”

In a statement, the school board said, “Several students, after school, made a very poor decision to display hateful and Anti-Semitic imagery while recording themselves on social media. The students will be disciplined according to district policies, and we encourage parents to talk to their students about using social media responsibly.”

According to the Atlanta Jewish Times, there were incidents of Nazi graffiti in two other Cobb County high schools earlier in the school year. Swastikas and the words “Hail Hitler” were scrawled in the bathrooms of Pope and Lassiter High Schools during the High Holidays. “The Cobb school district was strongly criticized for not addressing the antisemitic aspect of the graffiti, calling it merely ‘hate speech,'” the AJT wrote.

Hershel Greenblatt, a Holocaust survivor who frequently speaks in Atlanta schools about his experiences told local Fox 5 that whenever he sees a swastika, he can’t help but think about all of his family members who were killed.

“We need actual meaningful education that teaches against hate,” Greenblatt said. “People were killed in the most horrific ways and that swastika is a symbol of what happened.”

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