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Nazi quote prompts Summerlin school to recall yearbooks

Updated May 24, 2023 - 11:21 am

A prominent private school in Las Vegas is recalling its yearbooks after administrators learned a student used a quote from the founder of the American Nazi Party in its pages.

The yearbook for the Meadows School, located in Summerlin, featured a photo of a student with a quote: “Being prepared to die is one of the great secrets of living,” according to a copy of the yearbook page obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The quote, attributed anonymously, was taken from a 1966 interview that George Lincoln Rockwell, a notorious American white supremacist, gave to “Roots” author Alex Haley.

In another response on the student’s yearbook page, when asked, “How can I influence others?” the student replied, “Take control of a country.”

The student also listed politics, history and human biology as interests on the yearbook page.

Lauren Walker, a spokeswoman for the Meadows School, said the school is investigating the matter.

“We are collecting our yearbooks due to a quote that was included with an anonymous attribution that runs counter to our school’s core values,” Walker wrote in an email Thursday. “We are taking this very seriously, and cannot provide further details until our investigation is complete.”

On Friday, Meadows’ Interim Head of School Claude Grubair and Board Chair Matthew Chilton released a statement saying they do not condone hate speech or racism and would not allow a quote from a “known hate group leader” to remain in the yearbook.

The school said it had consulted with the Anti-Defamation League — a Jewish civil rights organization that works to combat antisemitism — and other community leaders on its response and support for students. Representatives with the ADL did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday afternoon.

“It is our job to help our students navigate what is morally right and wrong, and we have let not only our student-led yearbook staff down but our community as a whole,” the statement read.

Grubair and Chilton said the student had been removed from campus and “is no longer a part of our Meadows community.”

Walker said Friday there hasn’t yet been a determination as to whether the student would still be able to graduate and that the school would not divulge additional information until it had consulted with the student’s family.

When reached for comment, a man identifying himself as the student’s father said they are working with the school and declined to comment further.

‘Unfortunate, regrettable mistakes’

Rockwell was a notorious provocateur in the 1960s, known for inflaming controversy on college campuses, leading a violent counterprotest to Martin Luther King Jr. in Chicago and his harassing of the Freedom Riders. He was assassinated by a disgruntled former member of his own movement in 1967.

The Meadows School was founded in 1984 by Carolyn Goodman, the current mayor of Las Vegas. The nonprofit school serves grades pre-K through high school. The upper school costs more than $31,000 a year to attend.

Goodman could not be reached for comment Friday.

In a Wednesday email to parents obtained by the Review-Journal, Dana Larson, director of the Meadows’ upper school, said the yearbooks were being recalled to correct “unfortunate, regrettable mistakes.”

Larson requested that students bring back their yearbooks to their advisers.

“Please know that we will return them to you (with your personal notes, etc.) as soon as possible, but we need all of them back first,” Larson said.

A previous version of this story misspelled the first name of Matthew Chilton.

Contact Christian Casale at ccasale@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4551. Follow @vanityhack on Twitter.

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