St. Ignatius High School stripped of history designation for ‘after Hitler’

Story Highlights Bay Area school offers world history course “after Hitler” Germanwings co-pilot Lufthansa pilot Andreas Lubitz designated this course Parent led parent group to object to support for school named after him Thousands…

St. Ignatius High School stripped of history designation for 'after Hitler'

Story Highlights Bay Area school offers world history course “after Hitler”

Germanwings co-pilot Lufthansa pilot Andreas Lubitz designated this course

Parent led parent group to object to support for school named after him

Thousands of signatures against naming school after pilot

(CNN) — A California high school named after Andreas Lubitz, the Germanwings co-pilot suspected of deliberately crashing an airplane into the French Alps in March, has been stripped of its “Bay Area History” designation because of nationwide backlash.

School officials added a disclaimer this month explaining the school’s stance in “designating as World History course after Adolf Hitler,” according to parents on the Save Bay Area Schools Facebook page.

Lubitz, 27, is accused of crashing a Germanwings flight into the Alps on March 24, killing 150 people, including himself.

The Germanwings co-pilot hid a doctor’s note instructing him to take time off work to go to a psychiatric hospital, German investigators said. Lubitz put a device to turn the plane into a drenching dumptruck down his emergency slide, investigators said.

“Given the situation as it exists today, and as we saw during the Germanwings incident, it is extremely difficult to have open, courageous, clear history education,” St. Ignatius High School Principal Richard Kellner said in a letter to the school community.

The public school, which is about 20 miles south of San Francisco, describes itself as a “global, Catholic community of honor, integrity and passion.” The school’s alumni include former Vice President Al Gore and Bay Area news anchor Jon Scott.

Kellner told CNN affiliate KGO on Thursday the school had already received about 1,000 signatures from parents and students in favor of the name change.

“We decided to draw attention to the signatures, and I just thought it was a great idea. It was necessary to get that out there,” Kellner said.

The front door at the school was adorned with messages Friday afternoon, including: “STI.I.O.N.” and “4/26/18: HOMICIDE AND GLORIOUS EVIL.”

The school is owned by the Archdiocese of San Francisco, which “concluded last week that the name ‘Bay Area History’ is inappropriate due to student memories of the Germanwings pilot,” the San Francisco Catholic Tribune reported.

“It’s not only Germanwings, it’s many other different things that happened in our community and across the world,” Tess Allen, a mother of three who launched the petition against the name change, told CNN affiliate KPIX.

“In taking away the historical terminology ‘Bay Area History,’ the archdiocese erased the memories of those who died in the aftermath of the Germanwings incident,” another parent who requested anonymity, told the station.

He’s a good guy, the dad told KPIX.

“But to try to hide something so that it doesn’t hurt your feelings? Please. What I’ve learned about that is horrifying.”

Word of his background didn’t sit well with parents who attended his high school years and saw him walk across the stage to receive his diploma, the group wrote on Facebook.

“I believe that these participants wish to see an effort to have the name removed from the school. It is not about the tragedy itself. What these parents see is that the picture painted by the media of the Germanwings airline pilot is overshadowing their school and their child’s school,” they wrote.

The group said its aim was to have “Bay Area History” reworked to “focus more on our history.”

“It would then reflect the reality of the time and place, the struggles, the heroes, and most importantly, the importance of compassion and hope for the future. It is for these reasons that we thank those families and individuals that have worked to make the change from World History to ‘Diplomacy.’ “

Germanwings said Friday in a statement that it hadn’t received a letter about the school changing its name.

“Any understanding that caused even the smallest doubt about the reasons why we give this aviation trainer his award or name is unacceptable,” a company spokesman said.

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