San Dieguito interim supt. says ‘we are deeply sorry’ about Hitler photo in a middle school classroom

The exterior of the San Dieguito Union High School District office in Encinitas.
The exterior of the San Dieguito Union High School District office in Encinitas.
(Karen Billing)

In response to a photo of Hitler that had been on display in a classroom, San Dieguito Union High School District interim Superintendent Tina Douglas released a statement that said “we are deeply sorry.”

Douglas also announced that the district will hold “a listening session with Jewish Community Leaders” and hold anti-bias training for faculty and staff on antisemitism.

The photo of Hitler was on a whiteboard in a Carmel Valley Middle School class alongside historical figures such as John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., according to NBC 7 San Diego and CBS 8 San Diego reports. It was removed after multiple complaints, including from the father of a Jewish student.

“We are responsible for creating a safe school culture, which is done with the teacher’s presence, words, and practices, and we know that we did not meet that standard with the recent situation at CVMS,” Douglas said in the statement.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean and director of global action agenda at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, sent a letter to school district leaders that said the center was “deeply disturbed” by the situation.

“We need to understand that Hitler was not just another ‘leader’ and ‘Nazism’ was not just another political movement,” Cooper said in the letter. “If you want to compare Hitler’s ‘leadership qualities’ present him next to photographs of Stalin, Mao and the Ayatollah Khamenei, not icons of liberty and human decency.”

Carmel Valley Middle School Principal Vicki Kim did not respond to a request for comment.