A New Jersey school district apologized Tuesday after one of its employees told high school student athletes that Adolf Hitler was a “good leader” at a Saturday presentation.
Nutley High School athletics director Joe Piro made the remarks while showing Hitler’s picture next to civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s photo to Madison High School student athletes, the New York Post reported Wednesday. Piro added that Hitler did not have good moral intentions.
“While the District was unaware of our Athletic Director’s participation in this leadership conference at Madison High School, we share his regret to mention Adolf Hitler alongside examples of positive leadership and over the inclusion of this insensitive reference,” Nutley Public Schools superintendent Julie Glazer said in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation. “We sincerely apologize to the high school audience and the Madison community.”
“My intentions during the presentation were to make a point that a leader could have strong leadership skills and influence people in a negative way,” Piro said, the North Jersey Record reported. (RELATED: New Jersey University Dean Resigns Over Chick-Fil-A Ban)
Nutley Public Schools spokesperson Karen Greco told TheDCNF over email that the district cannot “comment on personnel” when asked if Piro was facing any disciplinary action.
Madison School District superintendent Mark Schwarz said in a letter to parents Sunday that there was no reason to include Hitler at “an assembly intended to promote unity and character,” according to the North Jersey Record.
“If the speaker intended to highlight an example of an effective leader with misguided intentions, a less emotionally-charged example would have been more effective and appropriate,” Schwarz said in the letter, NJ.com reported.
Madison school officials had not vetted Piro’s presentation. Piro, who says he has been an educator for 20 years, will remove the Hitler example for future presentations.
Madison School District did not immediately respond to TheDCNF’s request for comment.
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