March 28, 2020

Nazi Flag Seen Hanging in Maryland High School

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

A Nazi flag was seen hanging in a Maryland high school window on Feb. 8.

A photo of the flag went viral on social media; images reveal the flag could be seen from the entrance of Governor Thomas Johnson High School in Frederick, Md., as people were heading to a basketball game that evening.

Last night at one of the biggest games in FCPS, Thomas Johnson High School had this hateful flag prominently displayed…

Posted by Serenity Bush Moore on Saturday, February 8, 2020

Daniel Lippy, the school’s principal, wrote in an email to students’ parents on Feb. 10 that the flag was being used for a World War II history class and was left hanging. He added that it was taken down as soon as school officials became aware of it.

“We have taken steps to ensure that this never occurs again,” Libby wrote.

School Superintendent Theresa Alban said in a statement to Fox 5 D.C. that the school has issued an apology to the community over the matter, stating that the flag’s values are abhorrent and antithetical to the school’s values.

“We understand the seriousness of this matter and care deeply for our community’s immediate recovery and belief in [Frederick County Public Schools] as a school system, which celebrates diversity,” she said.

Alban added that the school will be responding with “appropriate action.”

Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Washington, D.C. Education Director Seth Gordon-Lipkin said in a statement, “While we acknowledge that hate symbols, like the Nazi flag displayed at this school, can be effectively used for educational purposes, it is imperative that educators consider the harmful impact that this sort of offensive imagery can have on students with marginalized identities. Even if a hate symbol is used with educational intent, the context in which it is presented matters to students’ feelings of safety and acceptance in their schools.”

He added: “ADL has reached out to Governor Thomas Johnson High School to offer its resources and best practices in handling this difficult subject matter in order to ensure that this incident is used as a teachable moment and to foster a safe, inclusive climate for all students.”