[UK] Schoolboy excluded for 'making Nazi salute in class'

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Tequila
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06 Feb 2013, 7:17 am

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Schoolboy excluded for 'performing Nazi salute in class'
  • A teenager was excluded from school after his teacher claimed that he had performed an act of racism by giving a Nazi salute in class, it was claimed today.
Ben Hayward, 14, was accused of making the racist hand gesture and clicking his heels while saying “Heil Hitler” to his unnamed teacher.

But the boy insisted he did not know he was being racist and was just stretching out his left arm to imitate his teacher’s gesture as they attempted to keep the class quiet.

Despite denying saying the phrase or that he clicked his heels and claimed he was, officials from Meopham School, in Meopham, Kent, handed him a two-hour detention.

One wonders what the context of this was. If there had been major problems with this child before for racism (or the teacher was Jewish or a descendant of a Polish person or other people persecuted by the Nazis) then it may be a lot more sinister. If it was a simple bit of mockery of a teacher that the boy had considered to have authoritarian tendencies and he's not been in major trouble before, then it's nowhere near worth suspending him for.

One has to wonder whether the school have either misjudged the situation or whether they are in fact backing down when they should not be.



Schneekugel
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06 Feb 2013, 8:51 am

As long as racism knows no tolerance, there can be no tolerance for racism.



Tequila
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06 Feb 2013, 9:02 am

Schneekugel wrote:
As long as racism knows no tolerance, there can be no tolerance for racism.


Context is important. It could well not have been racist, but someone taking the piss out of Hitler.



Schneekugel
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06 Feb 2013, 9:18 am

Do you think if an american student would yell out "Dschihad" and "Hail to Osama bin Laden" while bowing against mecca, during class, without explanation of context before doing so would be treated in another way?

Would you think it was wise to visit an armenian church and start to praise the "great atatürk and his great, famous efforts" without explanation?

If you do such things, you should know to tell everyone before, that you are only stupid and doing a joke.


Maybe try visiting a illegal Nazi concert and start praising Roosevelt, i´d be interested if you get enough time afterwards to explain them your context. Edit: I think after this experience the 3 hours school dispense would be seen as a very softly punishment.



Tequila
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06 Feb 2013, 9:27 am

Schneekugel wrote:
Do you think if an american student would yell out "Dschihad" and "Hail to Osama bin Laden" while bowing against mecca, during class, without explanation of context before doing so would be treated in another way?


I really don't think you understand the British sense of humour. Adolf Hitler has been a source of mockery and of ridicule for a very long time now here in Britain and Ireland. Hitler impressions or references to Hitler are sometimes used to insult people who the impressionist believes to have an extremely authoritarian character (so a rebellious pupil might well remark "Heil Hitler!" to a teacher that was laying down the law in a ludicrously officious way, or an officious person might well be called "Hitler", just as someone who is perceived to be collaborating with bad people are called "Quislings"). I understand that, in places like Germany and Austria, it's a very different state of affairs.

However, this may well have been more serious than that and, if so, then the little oik should be punished.



Venger
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06 Feb 2013, 9:58 am

Sounds like the teacher was acting like a bossy dictator, and then the boy mocked the teacher with a Nazi salute. In other words, he was implying that the teacher is the racist one not himself although he was probably just joking around.



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06 Feb 2013, 10:08 am

Don't mention the war!

He could claim do have done a Charlie Chaplin impersonation.
Is it ok to post a video of someone doing a Hitler parody, or is that against the rules?



Tequila
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06 Feb 2013, 10:14 am

trollcatman wrote:
Is it ok to post a video of someone doing a Hitler parody, or is that against the rules?


If so, On the Buses will be the first to go.



ModusPonens
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06 Feb 2013, 10:15 am

This can indeed have deeper implications, but my first guess is that it was a joke.

When I was a 13/14 year old boy I was a stalinist and one of my best friends was a nazi. Clearly we both had absolutely no idea of what that realy meant. This is not to say that we can neglect, and allow for this to happen with kids. They should be educated on who these terrible people were. But please, he's only 14. Lets not get histerical.



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06 Feb 2013, 10:27 am

trollcatman wrote:
Don't mention the war!

He could claim do have done a Charlie Chaplin impersonation.
Is it ok to post a video of someone doing a Hitler parody, or is that against the rules?


Comedians like Charlie Chaplin or members of Monthy Python or Mr. Bean have the advantage that in areas they are known, they dont need to introduce themselfs as comedian normally. In areas they are not known, they should still tell their audience, that they will be doing jokes. When introducing new artists, I´d say so before.

And we do have great comedians in Austria that are doing jokes about Hitler and Nazi. But as you said, the 14 year old wanted to compare his teacher with Hitler. Thats a big trivialization and there are people taking such thing as offend. And for the teacher himself it is defenitly an offend. If i had called my teacher something less trivial like as*hole or something, i would have much more trouble then 3 hours dispense.



Last edited by Schneekugel on 06 Feb 2013, 10:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

trollcatman
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06 Feb 2013, 10:27 am

I don't think posting the videos, but posting the search keywords is ok right?

The videos are about 10 years old I think. The guy's name is Rob Muntz, and he's trying to be offensive and succeeds pretty well.

Rob Muntz in Oostenrijk: he goes to Austria to impersonate Hitler, a place where the nazi salute might get you into real trouble. He mostly speaks really bad German. The locals are quite offended, but it's clear he satarizes Hitler and isn't a supporter whatsoever.
Rob Muntz in the US: he goes to the US to make fun of televangelists. Has mostly speaks English, but the Dutch is subtitled. It's especially funny when he speaks Dutch to the camera while standing next to an American, and he doesn't say what they suspect he is saying. 8)

Just searching for Rob Muntz will do the trick.



Tequila
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06 Feb 2013, 10:49 am

ModusPonens wrote:
This can indeed have deeper implications, but my first guess is that it was a joke.


That's what I thought. A silly kid being an arsehole.

ModusPonens wrote:
When I was a 13/14 year old boy I was a stalinist and one of my best friends was a nazi. Clearly we both had absolutely no idea of what that realy meant. This is not to say that we can neglect, and allow for this to happen with kids. They should be educated on who these terrible people were. But please, he's only 14. Lets not get histerical.


It could be argued that these things are just thrown about as insults - i.e. calling someone "Hitler" or "Stalin" often doesn't imply that the person you're insulting really wants to gas Jews, but is simply a very illiberal, jobsworth character. Yes, it's offensive, but so is calling someone "Bin Laden". It's a bigoted, schoolboy insult (or a jocular term of abuse amongst very close friends) that can have deeper implications when used with serious malice, yes, but it doesn't always mean that the person throwing the insult thinks that the person literally wants to be Osama bin Laden.



CSBurks
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06 Feb 2013, 2:55 pm

Hate speech is still free speech.



Fnord
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06 Feb 2013, 3:08 pm

Schneekugel wrote:
As long as racism knows no tolerance, there can be no tolerance for racism.

^ This.

Even if he was being sarcastic, racism has no place in a civilized society.


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Tequila
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06 Feb 2013, 3:14 pm

Fnord wrote:
Even if he was being sarcastic, racism has no place in a civilized society.


What if it, er, wasn't racist?