Two Minnesota students are being criticized for sharing an offensive dance proposal photo to Instagram on Thursday. In the picture, the couple raises their hands in the Nazi salute while holding a sign with anti-Semitic language.
“Sweethearts would be a Hit(ler) with you, and I could Nazi myself going with anyone else. Be Mein? Yes, Nein,” reads the sign, which the girl used to ask her date to the Sweetheart Dance at Minnetonka High School.
She then captioned the photo (which has since been removed) of the pair giving the Sieg Heil, “I would like to state I am not anti-Semitic in any way, I hate all races equally.”
According to Rabbi Kupfer, advisor to Minnetonka’s Jewish Student Union, the teen’s post not only offended her classmates but made some of them afraid to even attend school. “[The students] really feel uncomfortable going to school tomorrow,” he told CBS Minnesota. “They don’t feel safe, they feel very concerned. I think it really rips open a little bit of the feeling of safety that they have when something like this is out there.”
Minnetonka High School Principal Jeff Erickson reassured parents in an email Thursday evening that the matter was being handled with the proper disciplinary actions. “Our foundation as a school community is built on respect, kindness and consideration to others. Our work in this area is ongoing, and it is one of our highest priorities,” he wrote. “As a greater school community, I ask that you continue the dialogue around these core values. As a school, we will do so, as well.”
The student who originally shared the photo to her private Instagram account has updated her bio to read, “I apologize for my stupid mistake. There was no intent to offend anyone. [Direct message] me if you would like to discuss anything.”