A Chicago high school principal has been suspended while the school system looks into why a student was allowed to dress for Halloween last week in a German military uniform that was said to be reminiscent of a Nazi officer.
Principal Joseph Powers has since been suspended until the investigation into the incident is complete.
A video of the student at Jones College Prep’s costume parade appeared to show him goose-step on stage and salute the crowd, which booed back, according to WMAQ-TV.
Chicago Public Schools CEO Pedro Martinez said in a statement that the act “was widely recognized by students, staff, and members of our broader CPS community as anti-Semitic.”
“This incident caused harm to many of our students and staff, and is completely inconsistent with our values as a school district,” Mr. Martinez’s statement said. “It also comes at a time when hateful speech and hateful attacks are on the rise, especially against Jewish Americans.”
Students at Jones College Prep planned a walkout Monday to protest the way the high school administration handles jokes about racial and ethnic discrimination, according to Black news site The Triibe.
Mr. Powers told staff in a letter that students brought the costume to his attention, which he said was supposed to be a Communist-era East German soldier and not a Nazi, according to WMAQ-TV.
“I tried to explain the context and time period of the uniform to the students who spoke with me, but apparently the student who wore the uniform may have told people it was from the 1940s,” Mr. Powers wrote in the staff note, per WMAQ.
In an email to parents, Mr. Powers apologized for how the situation was handled.
The Chicago Teachers Union called on Mr. Powers to resign, or have the school system remove him.