Oklahoma Road parents, Carroll school system notified after incident involving swastikas, racial comments

An incident involving Oklahoma Road Middle School students prompted an email home to parents last week.

An email from team five leader Robin Staub, who teaches social studies, informed parents about "white supremacist behaviors and statements."


"Some examples have been students drawing swastikas on their papers, racial and ethnic comments and, when answering questions, some students have raised their hands in the 'Heil' salute," the email reads. "These are all considered messages of hate according to CCPS policy. If actions and comments are noticed by a teacher, they will result in an immediate discipline referral to the office. Students have received Saturday school as a consequence and repeated comments and behaviors may result in a suspension."

Erin Brilhart, principal at Oklahoma Road, said in an email to Carroll County Public Schools administration that the team leader came to him on May 3 about the behavior. He "quickly polled" other team leaders about whether they were seeing similar behavior, but none were reported by other teams, he said.

The team teachers then spoke to team five students about the behaviors and expectations, he said. Staub sent home a communication to parents to let them know about the discussion, he said.

"The classroom-based issue has been traced back to a video game that poses Axis (German Army) vs. Allies — a WWII simulation," Brilhart said in the email.

The incident had nothing to do with the recent banning of the Confederate flag, he said, and there have been no issues since it was addressed.

CCPS spokeswoman Carey Gaddis said the entire school community was not notified, and protocol is the whole community is not notified unless there is a security threat. If there is an isolated behavioral issue, which this incident appears to have been, it is dealt with by talking with those involved, she said.