A social studies teacher at a high school in Whitesville, NY, has escaped disciplinary proceedings over a lengthy statement in his school yearbook in which heaped praise upon Adolf Hitler, after local officials said the comments about the Nazi German leader were “incomplete” and “mistakenly taken out of context.”
Asked by student writers compiling the yearbook for the Whitesville Central School District to name his favorite person from history, Jeff Acor — who was recruited by the school district at the start of the academic year — gave the answer “Adolf Hitler.”
The Nazi dictator “did many great things for Germany and their youth before the infamous Holocaust,” Acor was quoted as saying in the yearbook.
Among other comments attributed to Acor was the sympathetic observation that Hitler “outed and faced hardships early in life which a lot of people can relate to.”
Acor ended his encomium to Hitler by saying, “Adolf is arguably the greatest public speaker in the history of the world. Adolf made many great strides to make Germany a world super power.”
Despite the detailed nature of the quotes, Whitesville School Superintendent Laurie Sanders sought to actively shield Acor from criticism.
Speaking to a local news outlet last Thursday, Sanders said that Acor’s statement in the year book had been “incomplete, resulting in the description of a historical figure being mistakenly taken out of context.”
In an interview with the Olean Times Herald, Sanders implied that there was more to the episode than she was authorized to disclose.
“The best way for me to say it is the statements were incomplete,” Sanders said, “but because there are children, students involved, and because of their privacy, I don’t really want to go into detail.”
The yearbook was produced by a student-run, after-school club, according to Sanders, who said district officials “try to give students the freedom and creative license to create and determine content.”
Sanders said the club has an adult adviser, but she declined to identify that staff member or whether that staff member will face disciplinary action.
Asked whether Acor would face disciplinary action for his statements about Hitler, Sanders said district officials had “investigated and no action has been taken.”
Sanders said the year book had now been withdrawn, and that a new version with what she described as Acor’s “complete statement” had been sent for printing.
Set in a county that US Census data estimates is 95.6 per cent white, Whitesville is the least racially-diverse school district in Western New York, according to the most recent Diversity Index Rankings by Buffalo Business First, which evaluated 95 school districts in the region