Jones College Prep students hold sit-in after Nazi Halloween costume incident, allege wider misconduct in administration


CHICAGO (WLS) — Students at Jones College Prep held a sit-in protest Monday after a student dressed in what many perceived as a Nazi uniform for a Halloween costume contest.

The students involved in the sit-in said they were protesting the costume incident as well as the administration, which they say has long ignored reports of misconduct.

READ MORE: Jones College Prep principal ‘removed from duties’ after student wears antisemitic costume

A week ago a student dressed up in what the school called a “German military uniform” and many students perceived as a Nazi uniform, and goose-stepped across the stage during a costume contest. The incident was caught on video.

Last week Chicago Public Schools removed Principal Joseph Powers pending an investigation into his handling of the incident, but students at the sit-in said there needs to be broader accountability.

“I feel like the administration completely mishandled this event, and also the fact that they allowed a student to come into school dressed as a Nazi is just absolutely disgusting to me,” said Max Korte, student.

In an email to parents last week, Power said it did not appear that the student intended his costume to be an expression of hate, but as outrage grew he sent a second email acknowledging the school should have handled the incident with “greater care.”

“We’re calling on CPS because this issue goes deeper than just some costume. It goes deeper than the misconduct here at Jones, but the misconduct of the district,” said student Jaheim Johnson.

RELATED: Some call for Jones College Prep principal to resign over alleged misconduct, Title IX violations

CPS said they have launched a full investigation into the incident.

Last spring the local school council at Jones College Prep requested CPS begin the formal process of firing Powers, alleging that for years he ignored complaints of misconduct among students and staff.

Messages left for Joseph Powers and CPS were not returned, but last week CPS said what happened on Halloween is inconsistent with the district’s values.

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