A Georgia school district was forced to apologize following outrage from parents after it approved a new logo for an elementary school that resembled the infamous Nazi eagle crest.
The Cobb County School District said it halted the rollout of the new logo for the East Side Elementary School, which sits across from a synagogue, after complaints that it bore a striking similarity to the Nazi iconography, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Parents and members of the community immediately called for a change once the new logo was presented earlier this week, with local Rabbi and mother Amanda Flaks saying she was shocked that the design was approved in the first place.
‘I thought, ‘That looks off. That makes me uncomfortable,’ she told WSB 2 of the moment she saw the new design. ‘I came back to it a few times and I felt more and more uncomfortable and sick each time.’
The Cobb County School District changed its new logo for the East Side Elementary School following complaints that it resembled Nazi iconography
Parents and members of the community were quick to point out that the proposed logo (left) resembled the inafous Nazi eagle crest (right)
The district said the eagle design was based off U.S. military symbols, primarily the U.S. Army colonel’s eagle wings crest (above)
Local Rabbi and mother Amanda Flaks refuted the district’s claims and said that the error was clear and that the new logo needed to be changed
The school district claimed it was not immediately aware of the similarities and had based the design off US army symbols.
Parents, however, said the way the school’s initials were positioned on the eagle silhouette looked much too similar to the Nazi eagle crest design than any design from the US military.
The district said in a statement: ‘We understand and strongly agree that similarities to Nazi symbolism are unacceptable.
Although this design was based on the US Army colonel’s eagle wings, stakeholder input has been and continues to be important to our schools.’
Despite the school’s claim, many parents said the problem with the logo was immediately clear and had no place in the elementary school.
‘I don’t want to see my kids wearing that on their shirt,’ Mike Albuquerque, the father of two students who will attend the school next year, told AJC.
‘Really it’s a big oversight of the county and everyone involved in the process who reviewed that, to not call out the fact that this looks like Nazi iconography. Or maybe, who knows, somebody did call it out and it wasn’t heard.’
Stefanie Ollanove, a Jewish parent in the community, echoed the disbelief that such a logo would be proposed.
‘I was shocked, I was stunned,’ Ollanove told Fox 5. ‘A first I thought it couldn’t be our school.’
‘I was very insulted by this,’ she added. ‘As a Jewish family in this school system, it took me aback.’
Pictured: The East Side Elementary School, in Cobb County, Georgia
The American Jewish Committee of Atlanta had also called out the district in a statement, saying: ‘It is troubling that nobody in the Cobb County schools recognized why this logo would be problematic, especially for a school located across the street from a synagogue.’
The group also noted that this was not the first controversy regarding Nazi symbolism in the school district.
Last year, graffiti depicting swastikas were found in two of the district high school’s during the Jewish high holidays, and earlier this year, middle school students were disciplined for sharing anti-Semitic imagery on social media.
The incidents have led to a group posting tags across the Atlanta-metro area urging citizens to stand against anti-Semitism.
‘This is not the first time Cobb County schools have been tone-deaf to anti-Semitism,’ Dov Wilker, director of the AJC Atlanta, said in a statement about the new logo.
‘Pretending that antisemitism doesn’t exist won’t make it go away. The children who attend Cobb County schools — and their families — deserve better.’