Person removed from Birmingham Board of Education meeting after using Nazi salute

‘It’s just unbelievable that this was at a school board meeting,’ Rabbi Asher Lopatin says

During Wednesday night’s Birmingham Board of Education meeting, a member of the audience gave the stiff-armed Nazi salute in an attempt to compare one of the board members to Adolf Hitler.

BIRMINGHAM, Mich. – During Wednesday night’s Birmingham Board of Education meeting, a member of the audience gave the stiff-armed Nazi salute in an attempt to compare one of the board members to Adolf Hitler.

The meeting was originally posted online, but the clip has since been removed. Jewish Community Relations Council Rabbi Asher Lopatin said the action was scary during a time when there is a rise in Anti-Semitic hate crimes.

“I’m more sad than angry because what it means is a real trivialization of the Holocaust, of Nazism, and it’s a real breakdown in civil discourse,” Lopatin said. “As a Jew it hurts. It’s painful. A million and a half children died in the Holocaust so it’s just unbelievable that this was at a school board meeting.”

The person who made the remarks and salute was immediately removed by police. Birmingham school officials sent out a letter alerting parents about what happened and condemning the act.

The statement reads in part, “Birmingham Public Schools emphatically denounces and will not tolerate any act of racism, disrespect, violence and/or inequitable treatment of any person, including actions and statements made at Board of Education meetings.”

Local 4 was told the incident may have stemmed from a heated discussion on if students should wear masks. It is not clear if the person who made the remarks was a parent of a student or just a community member who attended.

Read: Tracking Michigan school districts, colleges requiring masks for 2021-2022 school year


About the Authors:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.

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