Toronto (September 22, 2021) – Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) is extremely disturbed by a video shared online of North Bay students performing the Nazi salute and yelling antisemitic slurs, and the organization has reached out to the students’ school and school board to offer its education programs.
The video, which has been shared online, shows a group of École secondaire catholique Algonquin students marching in a field, giving the Nazi salute and chanting “Heil Hitler.”
According to reports, the North Bay Police Service and school board, Conseil scolaire catholique Franco-Nord, are investigating the incident. North Bay Police Chief Scott Tod - who previously participated in FSWC’s Compassion to Action program, visiting Poland and Germany to learn about the Holocaust - publicly condemned the students’ actions and offered condolences to the Jewish community.
In a letter to École secondaire catholique Algonquin and the director of the Conseil scolaire catholique Franco-Nord, FSWC offered its impactful programs, including a school-wide workshop that teaches young people about the Holocaust and provides Holocaust survivor testimony as well as a specialized program for the student offenders that addresses the incident that occurred and allows learning from the experience to move forward.
“It’s very sad to see such a hate incident occur in a Canadian school, especially as schools today work to promote inclusion and diversity,” said Michael Levitt, president and CEO of Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center. “In addition to disciplinary action, this is an opportunity for the school to address any gaps in Holocaust and tolerance education and to ensure all of its students gain better awareness of the dangers of hate and why it’s unacceptable. We commend North Bay police, including Chief Tod, and the school board for reacting quickly and sensitively to such an appalling incident.”