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California student newspaper apologizes after Hitler quote sparks outcry among Jewish leaders

A Sacramento high school has placed its student newspaper adviser on paid administrative leave and has been ordered to stay away from campus and students after a quote reading, “Hitler had some good ideas” was published in a recent issue, The Sacramento Bee reported last Wednesday.

The development at C.K. McClatchy High School came after the student newspaper, The Prospector, included the anonymous quote among a series of nine “favorite” student responses to newspaper staff asking, “Have you ever heard something while walking in the school hallways and thought ‘That is the strangest and weirdest thing I have ever heard in my life?'”

Its inclusion in an issue late last month ignited controversy among Jewish leaders in the community, one of whom said seeing the quote was a “gut punch.”

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The Sacramento school newspaper said the quote does not reflect its ideals or beliefs. (iStock)

“I’m sad that anyone would say that, clearly, but to have it out there without any information is horrific,” Pam Herman, interim CEO of the Jewish Federation of the Sacramento Region, said, according to a local report.

The report also quoted a local mom who insisted that freedom of speech is important, but certain topics or quotes should be put into context.

Outrage among community members led the principal to send out voice messages concerning the situation.

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Adolf Hitler speech nazi germany

Adolf Hitler gives an impassioned speech while opening the Berlin International Auto Show. The student newspaper quoted an anonymous student as saying, “Hitler had some good ideas,” sparking outrage among community members. (Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

“We would first like to express that this quote does NOT reflect our ideals or beliefs; it was included to spark a conversation on how students here choose to use their words,” the paper said in a statement.

The paper later published a follow-up statement saying, “We believe exposing the quote has led to much-needed conversation but that the situation has escalated into something we did not intend.”

Student journalists also said the decision to include the quote was an effort to point out the problematic things being said without “proper action” from staff, and they also expressed remorse for the phrasing used in the column, according to the Bee’s report.

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CA Fox News graphic

Sacramento’s C.K. McClatchy High School student newspaper became embroiled in controversy, but one commenter said they were not “advocating” for the quote but were instead “quoting what the student said.” (Fox News)

Those who insist the newspaper reserved the right to publish the quote cited freedom of the press. 

“They’re not advocating for it, they’re just quoting what a student said,” Steve O’Donoghue, director of the California Scholastic Journalism Initiative, said, per the outlet. 

Fox News Digital reached out to the Sacramento City Unified School District for additional comment, but did not receive an immediate reply. A spokesperson for the district, however, told the Sacramento Bee he was unable to comment on a personnel matter.

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