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School apologizes for yearbook photo of students dressed as Nazis

CBS News logo CBS News 5/05/2017
A photo featuring two middle school students dressed like Nazi soldiers published within a middle school yearbook has caused controversy among readers.: nazi-yearbook-photo.png © CBS News nazi-yearbook-photo.png

GERMANTOWN, Tenn. -- A school district in Tennessee issued an apology Friday in response to an offensive photo that was published within a middle school's yearbook, featuring two students dressed like Nazi soldiers.

CBS affiliate WREG-TV reports the image, which shows Houston Middle School students wearing swastikas and mustaches similar to Adolf Hitler's, did not have a caption beneath it to give additional context to readers. 

"We understand the concern and are reviewing the incidents with students and staff who were involved," the Germantown School District said in statement about the incident. "The district doesn't condone the placement of photos of this nature in any school publication and apologizes to anyone who was offended by the insensitive image." 

The school's principal wrote a letter to parents explaining the picture was taken during a history lesson called "The Nazis in Power: Discrimination, Obedience, and Opportunism." During the lesson, students were asked to draw conclusions about unjust laws in Nazi Germany by role-playing, and to reflect on discrimination in modern times. 

According to the principal, the class was implemented to teach students about the importance and appreciation of "our diverse world," being that the school celebrates diversity. 

It remains unclear as to how the photo ended up in the school's yearbook. 

School officials did not clarify whether or not the incident will affect procedures for the publication of yearbooks in years to come. 

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