CHICAGO — Students at Jones College Prep in Chicago’s South Loop, dissatisfied with the school’s response to a student who appeared to wear a Nazi soldier uniform on Halloween, are planning a walkout next week.
The walkout, planned for next Monday afternoon, seeks to address “the way administration ‘handles’ racial & ethnic discrimination at Jones,” according to a social media post advertising the plan.
A student showed up to school on Halloween wearing a costume that appeared to be a Nazi soldier uniform. In video clips shared on Twitter, the student can be seen goose stepping across a stage as several others loudly boo him.
‘We instantly felt disturbed by what we saw,” senior Isis Gullette said.
Block Club Chicago reported Friday that the principal at Jones, Joseph Powers, sent an email to faculty and staff earlier this week saying the student’s costume was “an East German (communist era) border guard uniform probably from the 1980s.”
“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,” Powers continued. “I spoke with him this afternoon and explained the same thing to him and the inferences others may have drawn.”
In a separate email sent to the Jones community Thursday, Powers wrote:
“Let me say clearly and plainly that what occurred caused harm to many of our students and staff who recognized this as an act of antisemitism. Let me also say clearly and plainly that intolerance, bigotry, and bias-based behaviors have no place in our school … We want you to know that we are addressing this situation directly with the member of our school community who wore the costume in accordance with protocols for processing bias-based harm.”
A year ago, a theater teacher at Jones was suspended after students reported offensive comments contained in a school play production.