Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Breaking News

Letting Student Wear Hitler Costume Was ‘Innocent Mistake,’ School Says

A private school in Australia said allowing a student to dress up as Adolf Hitler while students from a Jewish school visited was “an innocent mistake.”

The Jewish students were present at an assembly on Wednesday when the boy was given a “best dressed” award for his Nazi costume, which a teacher at the private school had given him permission to wear. Students were encouraged to dress in costume for “book week.”

A statement posted Friday on the Facebook page for St Philip’s College, a Christian school for grades 7-12 located in the country’s Northern Territory, called the incident “an innocent mistake by a teacher who is a respected, honourable and lovely person who got it wrong on the day.”

“In a busy school, this student did go to a respected staff member [and] said ‘is this OK?’ and the staff member said ‘yes,’” principal Rogert Herbert told The Australian Broadcasting Corporation. “Now she is absolutely shattered that she said that, and I’m really concerned about her well-being.”

Herbert said the exchange students and the principal from the Jewish school Bialik College accepted the apology.

“We got them together and apologized and they were fantastic, absolutely fantastic, and accepting,” Herbert said.

Jeremy Stowe-Lindner, principal of Bialik College, called the incident “a learning opportunity.”

“I understand that no malice was intended and I guess the coincidence of Jewish children visiting from Melbourne is a learning opportunity for the community, and that the principal assures me this is number one priority,” Stowe-Lindner said.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.