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Old Bridge, NJ - Raelians Defend Third Grader Who Drew Swastika For School Assignment

Published on: January 6, 2013 11:25 PM
By: AP
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Right-facing swastika in the decorative Hindu form.<br />
(Photo Credit: Wikipedia)Right-facing swastika in the decorative Hindu form.
(Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

Old Bridge, NJ - A group that promotes the swastika criticized a New Jersey school district for requiring counseling for an 8-year-old student of Hindu heritage who included the symbol in a holiday drawing.

The International Raelian Movement, which believes humans were created by extraterrestrials, said the swastika is actually a symbol of peace and beauty that was corrupted by Nazis. The group said the unidentified child was “subjected to traumatic reprimand and racial bias counseling without parental approval.”

School officials have since apologized to the third-grader at James McDivitt Elementary School and his parents.

School officials told The Home News Tribune of East Brunswick (http://mycj.co/VI1Ukc ) the student received counseling to assure him he had done nothing wrong and to let him know that different cultures perceive the swastika differently.

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The group said the swastika is a symbol of goodwill to Hindus worldwide.

“It’s not the child who needs counseling but the teacher aide who complained about the child’s drawing, the counselor and the principal who approved the counseling,” Raelian guide Thomas Kaenzig wrote on the group’s website.

Old Bridge Interim Superintendent of Schools Timothy Brennan told the newspaper he could not comment on the specifics of the incident other than the family has received the apology.

“The great challenge of our country, as well as it’s great tradition and great promise, is that we welcome everyone,” Brennan said. “Everyone here can be an American and can live in America, but that does not mean that we are not going to encounter from time to time things that we don’t understand or things we have never seen before.”

 

 


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1

 Jan 06, 2013 at 11:34 PM Davids Star Says:

Some old shuls in europe had them as designs like the star of david

2

 Jan 06, 2013 at 11:41 PM wsbrgh Says:

I have heard that there is a motif pattern of interlocking swastikas on the walls of a tunnel beneath the Templ

3

 Jan 06, 2013 at 11:47 PM Anon Says:

This is a confusing story, so here are some background facts:

The original swastika symbol has been used in the Hindu and Buddhist religions for centuries, if not longer. It is not a symbol of hatred.

The nazis adopted the swastika, switching the direction of the arms from the original religious version.

The student in question was Hindu and drew the original Hindu symbol that he no doubt had seen at home and at his temple. The poor child was probably devastated to be punished for this incident.

Raelians follow a UFO religion that believes that life on Earth was created by aliens. For whatever reason, they also use the original, religious swastika. This article probably represents the most publicity this small group has ever received.

No anti-Semitism here.

4

 Jan 06, 2013 at 11:49 PM OscarMadison Says:

Why does the crazy cult have to get involved to identify a Hindu symbol? Hindus outnumber Jews, Christians, and Muslims combined. This is an easily verified fact, just look at Wikipedia. Why involve a cult?

5

 Jan 07, 2013 at 12:03 AM FrumJew Says:

"The International Raelian Movement, which believes humans were created by extraterrestrials..."

Why on earth would the school care what they think?

6

 Jan 07, 2013 at 12:20 AM shredready Says:

Reply to #5  
FrumJew Says:

"The International Raelian Movement, which believes humans were created by extraterrestrials..."

Why on earth would the school care what they think?

Why would they care what a Jew thinks?

That's what they believe and anyway that is not the point of the story

7

 Jan 07, 2013 at 01:59 AM Huh? Says:

Reply to #5  
FrumJew Says:

"The International Raelian Movement, which believes humans were created by extraterrestrials..."

Why on earth would the school care what they think?

They care what every group thinks.
That way they must consider the needs of Jewish students as well.
this is a good thing.

8

 Jan 07, 2013 at 02:28 AM 5TResident Says:

There are at least two subway stations in Manhattan that have swastikas in the tiling motif. One is at West 110th Street on the 2 and 3 West Side lines. I don't remember the other one. The tiling was laid in about 1902, way before the Nazis transformed it into a symbol of evil.

9

 Jan 07, 2013 at 05:17 AM Anonymous Says:

“It’s not the child who needs counseling but the teacher aide who complained about the child’s drawing, the counselor and the principal who approved the counseling,”

Couldn't have put it better myself.

10

 Jan 07, 2013 at 06:55 AM vbtwo Says:

The swastika is still used in Japanese maps to denote religious temples. You can see it used all over the place if you go to Google Maps and look at Japan.

11

 Jan 07, 2013 at 08:29 AM Reb Yid Says:

The Raelians commented on the story to give themselves publicity. From the article it doesn't seem that they were involved in any way in the actual incident.

The school cares about Jews and Hindus. They do not care about crackpots.

12

 Jan 07, 2013 at 11:35 AM Liepa Says:

Reply to #1  
Davids Star Says:

Some old shuls in europe had them as designs like the star of david

More like an old fairy tale!

13

 Jan 07, 2013 at 03:24 PM ShmuelG Says:

Reply to #4  
OscarMadison Says:

Why does the crazy cult have to get involved to identify a Hindu symbol? Hindus outnumber Jews, Christians, and Muslims combined. This is an easily verified fact, just look at Wikipedia. Why involve a cult?

I didn't need to look at Wikipedia to know that today there are about 2.1 billion christians, 1.7 billion muslims and only 990 million hindus in the world. Not that it is relevan to the article at hand, this is just to point out your ignorance.

14

 Jan 07, 2013 at 10:55 PM bigwheeel Says:

Reply to #1  
Davids Star Says:

Some old shuls in europe had them as designs like the star of david

Some public, buildings in the USA , notably the BAM building in downtown Brooklyn and others have the swastika design as part of the original construction.

15

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