Board member sorry for Nazi slurs


A member of a school board in Massachusetts apologized for calling a Jewish colleague Hitler and allegedly giving him the Nazi salute.

At a meeting last week of the Taunton school committee, Alfred Baptista, who has a history of berating colleagues at meetings, said “Yes, heil Hitler, sieg heil” to committee member Barry Cooperstein, who had admonished him for yelling at the school district’s superintendent, according to the Boston Globe.

Baptista issued a formal apology this week, saying he deeply regretted his remarks and had not meant any harm.

“It was a very unfortunate choice of words, and I feel terrible about it,” Baptista told the Globe. “I’m not a racist, I’m not an anti-Semite.”

The Anti-Defamation League called the remark “deeply offensive” and community members, including the mayor of Taunton, located about 40 miles from Boston, demanded Baptista publicly apologize or resign. School and city officials said they received dozens of complaints about the incident.

“Comments like this are indicative of a misunderstanding of the horrors perpetrated by the Nazi regime and are deeply offensive,” regional ADL officials wrote in a letter calling on Baptista to apologize.



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