School group apologise after distributing T-shirts with ‘swastika’ logo
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A school district in America left people astounded after they handed out T-shirts with an offensive logo that looked far too similar to a swastika.
Hanover County Public Schools in Virginia gave out the T-shirts and other merch featuring the logo, which had been designed by one of the teachers during a professional learning conference.
The bizarre emblem was supposed to represent "four hands and arms grasping together" as "a symbol of unity for [the] all-county professional learning conference".
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Superintendent of the district Michael Gill wrote in an online message that the symbol stood for "nothing more" than that, despite its uncanny resemblance to the logo that represented Hitler's Nazi regime.
"We are deeply sorry for this mistake and for the emotions that the logo has evoked by its semblance to a swastika and, by extension, to the atrocities that were committed under its banner," Gill said.
"Unquestionably, we condemn anything associated with the Nazi regime in the strongest manner possible."
Hanover County Schools removed images it had posted of the shirts from its Facebook page in an effort to rectify the mistake.
However, this didn't stop images of the offensive shirts from being circulated widely on the internet – and people on social media didn't take kindly to the mistake.
"That is clearly the Nazi symbol. This is what happens when you take history out of history books," one person wrote.
Another added: "This shirt actually made it to the printer and no one, not a single person, said – wow, this symbol kind of looks like a swastika? Unbelievable."
A third chimed in: "Might be time for a rebrand."
The school district's apology comes after concerns were raised over the logo's striking similarity to the infamous sign, with staff and community members being left "deeply upset" by the image's use.
Chief Executive of the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond Daniel Staffenberg was appreciative of how quick the school district was to act.
"In partnership with the school board, we will continue to address this incident and ensure that Jewish students, families, and all vulnerable minorities unsettled by this logo are represented in the cities and school systems they inhabit," he said.
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