School administrator under fire for post comparing vaccine cards with yellow stars

Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 11:05 AM CDT
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GERMANTOWN, Tenn. (WMC) - An administrator at Houston High School in Germantown is under fire for making a Facebook post about vaccines some are calling anti-Semitic.

The now-deleted post from the assistant principal read: “What’s the difference between vaccination papers and a yellow star? 82 years.”

The post came as an unexpected surprise to not only families within the Germantown Municipal School District but also members of the area’s Jewish community.

“I was flabbergasted the first time I saw it,” said Jeremy Simons, Assistant Rabbi at Temple Israel.

This is not Simons’s first time to see these types of comparisons made on social media. He says he’s seen many over the course of the pandemic. This time, however, carried a heavier weight to it.

“To know that it came from an educator and an administrator in a school district that has so many of our students and our families are part of the district, it was shocking and deeply distressing,” the Rabbi said. “The Jews were forced to wear (yellow stars). It was against their will. It was not something they wanted, that they were required to wear as a way they they could be singled out so when the time came they could easily be rounded up and ultimately exterminated.”

A petition was created this week by a Jewish student calling for the assistant principal’s firing. The petition has more than 1,500 signatures.

A spokesperson for Germantown Municipal School District released a statement Thursday, saying the district is aware of the post and investigating.

The school district would follow up later on Thursday with an updated statement.

Simons and staff at Temple Israel have had many come to them for support in the short time since the post was made.

“I just spoke with a parent who was in tears, thinking about moving away from this district, based on this incident,” Simons said. “To compare that to a public health initiative, designed to make us safer, it is ahistorical and deeply offensive.”

Temple Israel is currently working on setting up Zoom sessions for Jewish students and families who are a part of GSMD.

They hope to also have a Zoom session for the general public in the near future.

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