A faculty division in Virginia issued an official apology on Wednesday after just lately printing T-shirts with a emblem that appeared to resemble a swastika to some individuals who noticed it, including that it was “created without any ill-intent.”
“We are deeply sorry for this mistake and for the emotions that the logo has evoked by its semblance to a swastika,” Hanover County Public Schools (HCPS) Superintendent Michael Gill wrote in an apology posted on HCPS’ web site. “We condemn anything associated with the Nazi regime in the strongest manner possible.”
Rachel Anne Levy, a public college advocate and a candidate operating for the Virginia House of Delegates in Hanover, posted on Twitter a picture of the shirts, which have been initially meant to be distributed amongst employees members on the Unified Professional Learning Conference and have been promoted throughout now-deleted Facebook posts.
Gill wrote within the apology that the emblem was created by a trainer and was meant to “represent four hands and arms grasping together” to symbolize unity.
“We understand that this has deeply upset members of our staff and community who see the logo as resembling a swastika,” Gill added.
The superintendent confirmed within the apology that the college division stopped distributing the shirts that embody the emblem and was working to take away it from all convention supplies.
“We truly regret this error and are sorry that it has distracted from the great work that is being accomplished through this conference and throughout the school division, which will help us to continue to uphold our longstanding Tradition of Excellence by supporting all students and their unique needs,” Gill wrote within the public apology.
“As always, we continue to value the feedback we receive from our community. Again, we sincerely apologize for this mistake and appreciate your understanding and continued support.”
However, Levy criticized Gill for not doing sufficient to cease the shirts from being displayed with the swastika-like emblem.
“I am outraged but not surprised that Hanover Schools Superintendent Mike Gill would blame a teacher for his approval of the logo. Where does the buck stop? Apparently, never with him or his office. Unacceptable,” she wrote on Twitter Wednesday morning.
In a response to the state of affairs, the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond wrote on Facebook that they “appreciate this swift response from Superintendent Michael Gill.”
It added that it appears ahead to “continuing to work with the Hanover County Public School system as we all strive for an inclusive education space & community.”
Newsweek reached out to Hanover County Public Schools for added info and remark.