High School Principal Resigns Over Nazi Cosplay Incident

The president of a private high school in Hsinchu City, whose students recently drew public ire with a cosplay event mimicking a Nazi parade, announced his resignation on Sunday, which he said was aimed at accepting responsibility for the incident.

In a statement, Hsinchu Kuang-Fu High School President Cheng Hsiao-ming (程曉銘) extended his deep apology for the social agitation and disquiet the cosplay parade caused.

"To take full responsibility for the matter, I hereby announce my resignation from the post as president (of the school)," Cheng said, noting that he will later present the Ministry of Education (MOE) with a name list of those disciplined for the controversial cosplay event.

A disciplinary meeting has been scheduled for Monday to determine who else will be punished for the incident, the school said.

Cheng further said that to transform the lesson from the incident into a positive strength, the school will run courses focusing on the Nazi issue, the historical scars caused by the Nazis during World War II, and the taboo of the Nazi symbol in the international community.

The courses will emphasize the key values of life, including "respect for those involved" and "empathy," Cheng said. He pledged to dedicate himself to history education in his capacity as a teacher.

His resignation has yet to be approved by the school's board of directors.

He pleaded in the statement for the public to refrain from excessive scolding of the students and teacher involved, who he said have been under overwhelming pressure because of their cosplay.

A class of Kuang-Fu High School students triggered widespread criticism in Taiwan a day earlier after photos posted online showed them dressed in costumes resembling Nazi uniforms, wielding swastika flags and displaying Nazi tanks made of paper cartons at the school's history-themed cosplay event.

The incident prompted the Presidential Office to demand that the Cabinet hold the high school accountable. The Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei and the German Institute Taipei also expressed shock and disappointment over the incident.

Chiu Chien-kuo (邱乾國), head of the MOE's K-12 Education Administration, said Sunday that measures will be taken to review the school's possible "administrative negligence of duty" and improve the education of its students.

The school's internal disciplinary measures will be respected, as long as they meet the principle of proportionate response, but the MOE will cut its subsidies for the private school because of its administrative negligence, Chiu said. 

(Focus Taiwan News Channel)

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