Teachers at a Wisconsin high school are selling T-shirts to raise money for the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum in response to a viral photo of their students posing for a prom photo with a Nazi salute, the Baraboo News Republic reported.
Members of the teachers’ union at Baraboo High School decided to make a donation to the museum because it does “important work” and was one of the first institutions to offer to help educate the school’s students and staff.
The teachers first addressed the situation last fall by hanging posters promoting diversity and tolerance to their classroom doors. They read: “No room for hate. This classroom. This school. This community. This state. This country. This world.” The T-shirts feature the same message.
“It starts here with us,” Baraboo Education Association president Kari Nelson told the local paper. “We do what we can do to support all students in our room, and then we move that out into our hallways and our greater building and into our communities and so forth.”
At the end of November, shortly after the photo circulated the internet, 180 staff members throughout the district bought T-shirts in a variety of colors, raising $2,100.
In the photo, about 50 boys of the Class of 2019 gathered on the steps of the Sauk County Courthouse, where almost all held up their arms in a Sieg Heil salute.
It is so hard to find words…
This is why every single day we work hard to educate. We need to explain what is the danger of hateful ideology rising. Auschwitz with its gas chambers was at the very end of the long process of normalizing and accommodating hatred. https://t.co/13AzZaMGJR— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) November 12, 2018
If @barabooSD wishes to know more about what can be the extreme result of normalization of hatred - and hatred is enrolled in this symbol - please see some online lessons dedicated to the history of Auschwitz: https://t.co/M1VC8b8Jlj— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) November 12, 2018
“I think, as a union, we’re just really supportive of all the efforts that the … community, the county leadership, the city leadership, the district leadership is doing to try to — to try to make all of this right,” Nelson said. “We just hope this is another piece of the puzzle.”
This story "Teachers Respond To Nazi Photo, Aid Auschwitz Museum" was written by Alyssa Fisher.