There are few things that are universally wrong in every conceivable situation. At or near the top of that list is making light of the Holocaust. That’s a lesson students at an Atlanta area private high school could have used when they found themselves in a Holocaust-themed drinking game – and took photos to record it.
Students from the Lovett School were punished Wednesday for playing “Jews vs. Nazis” beer pong. A photo of cups of beer forming a nazi swastika and the Star of David appeared on social media and landed the group in hot water with school officials.
According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the school expelled one student for taking the photos and then initially lying about organizing the game a recent party, and suspended five others for participating.
“That student misled school officials about his role in setting up the game, which contributed to the decision to expel him, Lovett Headmaster William S. Peebles said Sunday in a letter to parents,” the Journal Constitution reported.
Under normal circumstances, the punishment might have been lighter. It’s likely this was nothing more than a crass exercise of ignorance fueled insensitivity by overprivileged private school students, and not a gathering of virulent anti-semites broadcasting their hate.
But in the aftermath of the white supremacy-fueled violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month, there’s renewed pressure on institutions to show zero tolerance for such displays.
Zero tolerance is exactly what these students got.
Peter Mellado is a writer, producer, and a branding and messaging specialist with over 15 years experience. He studied history at San Jose State University, and resides in Los Angeles.