A child with an eerie resemblance to a Hitler Youth in the context of the photo, holding a plane with a Nazi insignia on the side and a glib caption about the Nazi Party does not seem like the traditional or appropriate way to write a story about how to deal with your “gifted youth’ but apparently Joylyn Niebes, the publisher of “Dallas Child Magazine” thought it was a good idea. The photo is part of a story entitled, “What Do I Do With This (Gifted) Kid?”. It is in the print edition only. The fact that it is not in the online edition leads me to believe that I am not the only one who found the imagery troubling.
While I understand that there was no evil intent in what the author was trying to accomplish, it could have been done in thousands of other ways. The decision to use Nazi imagery with a glib almost to the point of smart-ass caption that could not have possibly have come from that child was poor judgment plain and simple. I wrote the publisher of with my concern. Here was her response:
The problem with Jolyn’s response is that she could have used any of those other photos/examples she referenced to make the point of the story. The horror’s of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust should be actually learned by children old enough to understand them and not used as a punchline attached to a child clearly not old enough to understand. If I am mistaken and Tyler is in fact up on the these subjects then why not include that in the story to give the photo and caption context. She instead used those horrors to create shock value. This imagery had nothing to do with learning. The story makes one brief mention of World War II planes.
What we are left with is the image itself left to the imagination and a perceived ignorance and insensitivity to history by the adults who conceived this idea. My advice to Joylyen is to use such an important and sensitive period of history to teach and not to exploit for circulation. I think our children, gifted or not deserve that.
**Title Disclaimer I don’t really believe Tyler is part of the Hitler Youth, endorses the Hitler Youth or Nazi policies. I was using shock value and sarcasm to make a point.