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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Hateful Halloween Costume


Well, if you thought the high school kids with Hitler quotes in their yearbook annoyed me, check out this lovable high schooler:
A student at a Brooklyn high school named for a prominent Jewish educator faced a blitzkrieg of trouble yesterday when he arrived dressed as Adolf Hitler for Halloween.
The kid was pulled out of class, and when he refused to remove the costume, he was forced to sit out the rest of the school day in the office. His parents, who are of Jewish origin, defended his right to don the costume under his First Amendment rights:
His mother and stepfather, who is Jewish and lost ancestors in the Nazi genocide, defended Petryk's stance. They rebuffed pleas by the dean to advise their son to remove the costume so he could return to class.

"This is a matter of artistic free expression and a school not being stupid," said his mother, Diane Petryk- Bloom, who picked her son up at school. "[The dean is] offended by a parody of Hitler - and he's acting like Hitler."
Yeah, I'd say that his mother has a pretty good grasp as to the far-reaching evil of Hitler's policies, and that comparing them to detaining a student in the principal's office is a fair analogy.

The school defends their actions:
City Department of Education spokesman Keith Kalb said school administrators "followed appropriate procedures" after receiving "several complaints from offended students and staff."

The department's discipline code states that students who wear clothing deemed disruptive to the educational process may be removed from class.
I'd say the student was clearly aiming to offend - as is seen by the adjustments he made to the costume on the ride to school:
Petryk said he didn't set out to push the envelope as Hitler. But he acknowledged that he made a decision to disguise himself as Charlie Chaplin with a bowler hat and cane on his way to school to avoid ruffling feathers on the street.

"I wasn't going to get on the subway in a Hitler costume," Petryk said.
But hey, wear the getup to school? Why the heck not, right?

Petryk followed up by donning the costume for a press conference today in front of his school where he again invoked his right as an American to act like an absolute jerk:
The junior honors student dressed again as the fascist butcher outside the Sheepshead Bay school yesterday for a gaggle of reporters, and dismissed the prospect of suspension - as well as the ridicule of onlookers.

"I'm not worried about it that much," said Petryk, whose mother delivered the costume to him yesterday and stood by his side.

"I'm not a Nazi. It's a Halloween costume," he declared. "People have taken it too seriously . . . I'm not going to go around and kill Jews or anything."
Heh heh. Funny. And thanks for the reassurance, pal.

The ADL chimed in, of course:
The Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee likened the costume to a Ku Klux Klan hood, saying it represented unprotected hate speech.

"This is not an innocent First Amendment advocacy," said Abraham Foxman, director of the ADL. "He knew this outfit would offend and hurt and maybe even incite by the fact that he didn't wear it on the subway."
I agree completely. I would not in the least be amused by a student showing up in a KKK gown and hood. I would be shocked and appalled at the insensitivity of such an act, and would view it as one that is deliberately inciteful - as I do for this one. Petryk may have been well within his rights of freedom of expression, but he was well over the lines of good taste and responsible citizenry.

35 Comments:

Blogger Ari Kinsberg said...

who is the bigger moron--the boy or his parents? i love it when it takes goyyim (department of education) to take jews to task on these matters.

5:04 PM  
Blogger Yid With Lid said...

my vote is for the parents

5:29 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

I agree with the ADL. If this kid understood that it was not appropriate to wear such a costume in the subway, he must have realized that school officials couldn't let it stand. You know, some people can be really intelligent (i.e. he's in the honors program) and have absolutely no common sense.

K.

PS. He wore it again for a press conference?! Jeez...

5:29 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

""I wasn't going to get on the subway in a Hitler costume," Petryk said."

Shame. He would've looked much funner with his head shoved up his ass. I hope he does opt for the KKK outfit next year. That'll put an end to his pedantic pro-constitution idiocy pretty quickly.

6:22 PM  
Anonymous HAGTBG said...

We can talk about convention all we want but people have the right to offend.

Did he break any rule?

7:32 PM  
Blogger FrumWithQuestions said...

i just don't understand why every time i read a story like this I assume it was a Jewish person who did it. This kid was not Jewish put his step father who is a child of holocaust survivors is and encouraged him to wear the costume.

7:46 PM  
Anonymous Uusally a jblog lurker said...

"Petryk may have been well within his rights of freedom of expression". That's precisely the point. He is NOT within his rights for the same reason that freedom of speech does not allow you shout "Fire!" in theatre. He was within his rights to wear this in the subway (although still a jerk) but there is no right, no way, no how to wear this in a school.

I would add I am disturbed, although not surprised, that the media rewarded this travesty with attention.

7:59 PM  
Anonymous HAGTBG said...

How is this like shouting "Fire" in a theater?

8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There has got to be a VAAD joke here.....

8:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, people really need to get over themselves. Oh no, someone did something stupid. Lets all whine!

9:28 PM  
Blogger SephardiLady said...

I don't beieve that there are full 1st amendment rights in school.

9:34 PM  
Anonymous Usually a jblog lurker said...

>>"How is this like shouting "Fire" in a theater?"

Certain places have to be able to curtail the right of free expression to avoid disruptions. While certianly not as dangerous as shouting fire, this costume was causing disrutions and the schools need to able to curb free expression to prevent that.

The main point of Justice Holmes' example is that free expression is not absolute and can be curtailed by public need. That applies here.

11:07 PM  
Blogger Goy Guy said...

HAGTBG said...

We can talk about convention all we want but people have the right to offend.

Did he break any rule?



I'm pretty sure the "rules" give school officials quite a bit of leeway in deciding what is appropriate school attire. Real news would be if they let him wear it.

11:11 PM  
Blogger queeniesmom said...

All schools have codes of conduct which include a section on dress. No student is allowed to wear something that is offensive to others or demeening to others. a student is not allowed to dress in a manner that will offend others or in the schools view will cause a disruption or disturbance within the school. This concept was affirmed by the US Supreme court. The school is the arbitor of what will cause a disruption and this most certainly would. If you wouldn't wear the costume on the subway, why wshould you wear it in a school. The same reactions will occur.

The school's position is that this could trigger a severe disturbance and it is their duty to protect all the students. So just like you don't yell fire in a theater, you don't wear something to school that will cause a riot.

the school's duty to protect superseeds a student's 1st amendment rights. Again this was affirmed by the Supreme court.

I pity the poor dean/principal who has to deal with his idiot parents. i'm sure they now have a lawyer and are going to try taking the school to court. what a wste of everyone's time and tax $.

11:19 PM  
Blogger Jack's Shack said...

I'd like to spend a few minutes alone with all three of them, but something tells me that they still wouldn't get it.

2:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting, considering, Long Beach sent home three girls for wearing captain underpants costumes. I am a non religous Jew, and my family lost, in Germany and Russia. I find the costume, just plain dumb, an attention getter. Perhaps he is a future law student who wanted to make his point. You could also look it another way; by making a costume of Hitler, it makes fun of the horror, and our younger generation is reminded who and what Hitler was. Instead of using this as a minus, make it a plus. Then, it will never happen again.

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The school should sentence him to one day at the Holocaust memorial museum in Manhattan. He should spend the whole day with a tour guide and be forced to absorb information all day. Then he should be forced to write an essay about what Hitler really stood for. Only then should he be forced to write an essay about whether a student should be allowed to wear a Hitler costume to a public school where many of his classmates lost chunks of their family in the Holocaust.

p.s. If it were up to me, I would stick him in a gas chamber full of mace (but of course tell him it was just a shower). Let him see what that feels like. Then I would kill his pets and take away his bicycle (or whatever) and see how he reacts to loss. I'll bet it wouldn't be such a joke then, huh?

11:02 AM  
Blogger The Town Crier said...

did you see the one about the suicide bombers at penn with the college president?

11:41 AM  
Blogger thanbo said...

the suicide bomber costume/tableau at Penn

See the update as well for other bloggers' reactions.

2:03 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

"p.s. If it were up to me, I would stick him in a gas chamber full of mace (but of course tell him it was just a shower). Let him see what that feels like. Then I would kill his pets and take away his bicycle (or whatever) and see how he reacts to loss. I'll bet it wouldn't be such a joke then, huh?"


Uh, perhaps you should talk to someone about these violent urges you seem to have. Based on what you would like to do to some moron with bad judgement, I'd say you don't sound too stable yourself.

8:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm pretty stable. But thank you for your concern.

Basically in the first half I was suggesting education through third-person accounts and in the second half (the P.S.) I was suggesting learning through first-person.

I am sure you are familiar with the Nazi tricks. My family perished that way. For me, this lunatic dressing up like Hitler is personal. He needs to learn a lesson. Anyone who has gone through any type of trauma should be able to muster up a little human compassion for the 60 million victims of Hitler and the survivors as well.

Understood?

8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

omg you people are psychotic
it was a halloween costume!! get off it
i think its hilarious, and would totally allow my children to wear a similar costume. You yourselves are fascists for attempting to inhibit the creativity of a youth

1:51 PM  
Anonymous What the HECK are you thinking??? said...

OK, people, are your REALLY stupid? What is there to get uptight about?
What make you think the he thinks that this is a joke? His stepfather loss family members in the Holocaust. It's a costume for Gods sake!!! This is basically prejudice. You nimwits are looking at the costume, not the person within. The costume itself is just a bunch of cloth and stitches. It was the man that was bad, not the appearance. I'm sure that the reason Hitler killed all those people was because he had a funky mustache. There's the reason right there. Everybody, don't wear funky mustaches. You will become a psycho maniac killer. (I hope you can register my sarcasm). C'mon people. Don't be stupid.

3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even though I myself am Anonymous..I agree with the other Anonymous people before me. It's a COSTUME it's meant to be SHOCKING or funny, depending on what COSTUME you're wearing. Dressing up as a Nazi, not just as Adolf Hitler, who was the founder of the Nazi party himself, is akin to dressing up in a devil or demon outfit and walking in to a church!!! Although, I wouldn't advise this at all. I'm not saying dressing like a Nazi and going to a synagogue is the same thing, either. I'm trying to make a point. World War II was what....? Roughly 60 years ago?!!! Jesus Christ people!!!!!!!GET OVER IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anyone know where i can get the costume??

5:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She is our neighbor and she is a PSYCHO.

10:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The mom is our neighbor, i should have specified. She's the psycho. We share a porch and she feeds stray cats by leaving raw wet cat food out on the porch cement. It lures in all kinds of wild animals as well. Plus she is stealing my fall decorations off the porch because i threw her cat food away.

10:48 AM  
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10:32 PM  
Anonymous Beano913 said...

In my opinion I think this kid had every right to do this as stated. I for one have read many books on WW2 and Hitler himself, I however do not support Hitlers ways. The reason why I said this kid was right was 1 it was a halloween costume, Um hello? did we all forget halloween is about dressing scary and particularly unpleasing? Like if you dress as the grim reaper or angel of death as some religions see it, he takes souls and in some beliefs he is bad and takes lives for often no reason. Some believers may find the grim reaper just as offensive because it's there beliefs. Yeah I wouldn't show my costume on the subways cause I wouldn't want to be faced with a radical and potentially being beaten to a pulp without justifying that it was meant to be a meaning of 'scary' Plus if I hate my school and every bone they have to pick with me I always try to win, and normally do. So if I were the kid I all the sudden would turn it into a big deal. Hitler is dead and he isn't coming back but we can still make a mockery of him like we do on shows like family guy. You don't see the writers of family guy sitting in the principles office for being inconsiderate. People need to think a little outside the box, besides hitler didn't only kill Jews he was just trying to whittle down the population to pure Aryan race, so it's not like the costume was only offending jews. People need to get knowledge before quick judgements.

8:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't it IRONIC, A Jew playing Hitler as Hitler was half Jewish which no Jew wants to ever admit. Gotta love those self-hating Jews. lol lol lol!!

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

where can i et a costume like that?

6:39 PM  
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