A Tipp City Schools (TCS) Board of Education member gave a Nazi salute to a fellow member during a tense interaction Tuesday evening.
School Board Meeting Heats Up
An online video showed a board member making a Nazi-like salute to the former board president, Simon Patry, before he resigned.
Simon Patry, who resigned as TCS school board president at the end of Tuesday’s meeting, was discussing transparency surrounding current district projects. In the middle of one his remarks, board member Anne Zakkour attempted to interject.
“We have been talking … to the community, to the board, there’s been regular reports … I’m talking, do not interrupt me, do not make any noises or else I will — I will not tolerate it,” Patry said, directing his latter comments to Zakkour.
“Oh … Sieg Heil,” Zakkour said in response, acting out a Nazi salute towards Patry.
Patry did not react to Zakkour’s gesture.
“My reaction was symbolic and, I think, a sarcastic gesture of submission to a board officer acting as a dictator, Zakkour explained.
Her response, she said, was a culmination of Patry acting “like a dictator,” allegedly bullying her and other board members and holding his head in his hands while some board members spoke and sighing during their comments.
“Patry has a pattern of being very condescending, controlling – dictator. I was trying to make the point that he was a dictator. It was a last straw breaking point,” she said. “That was reactive behavior on my part.”
“I think it was reflective of four years of his dictatorial behavior. When you know anything about Sieg Heil, you know when it is done by a civilian it is meant to be a sign of total obedience to a dictator, which at that time happened to be Hitler. That is what I think he is. When he wants it, he wants total obedience as a dictator,” Zakkour said.
Zakkour said she understands why some parents and community members, like Josh Dziedzicki, are upset.
“I can’t believe in this day and age we are even joking about making this sort of gesture,” Dziedzicki, a Tipp City with family members in the district, said about the gesture.
Still, the board member, whose term ends in December, said she believes both her and Patry’s behavior was wrong.
“There’s two sides here. It’s not just my behavior, but his behavior and my reaction,” she said.
Later in the meeting, Patry announced that he would be resigning effective at midnight that night.
Patry said that the allegations of bullying and acting like a dictator were not true, and called for Zakkour’s resignation.
“Mrs. Zakkour’s accusations are lies. All you need to do to see that these are lies is to observe all of our meetings, which are recorded and public record,” Patry said in a written statement. “Mrs. Zakkour is clearly doing everything she can to distract from her horrible conduct, which is inexcusable. Her conduct does not reflect the values of our wonderful School District, its staff, students, parents, and our community. Rather than double down on lies, she should resign.”
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