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College student told to take down sign cursing at Nazis over 'issues of inclusion'

The University of Massachusetts, Amherst, later disavowed its request and agreed the sign could stay up.
Image: Students pass the Old Chapel at the University of Massachusetts campus in Amherst on Oct. 21, 2016.
Students pass the Old Chapel at the University of Massachusetts campus in Amherst on Oct. 21, 2016.Suzanne Kreiter / AP file

A college student who put up a sign at her dormitory window cursing at Nazis was reportedly told by a residence director to take it down in part over “issues of inclusion.”

In a Facebook post, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, acknowledged that the student's sign said "F--- Nazis," and a photograph showed that it also said "You are not welcome here."

The student, Nicole Parsons, a junior, told Buzzfeed News Sunday that she put up the sign on her window after a swastika was drawn over a "Happy Hanukkah" message on a resident assistant’s door. A week after she posted the sign, Parsons received an email from a residence director asking her to remove it from her window, for an unusual reason.

“There are some in the community who have expressed that the sign should be taken down as it has created mixed emotions in the community over how to proceed, issues of inclusion, and the ability to be active members of their community,” the email said, according to BuzzFeed News.

“While Residence Education cannot force you or your roommate to take the sign down, I am asking that you or your roommate take the sign down so that all students can be a part of an inclusive residential experience, as well as having a respectful environment to be a part of here on our campus,” the email obtained by BuzzFeed News said.

Nicole Parsons hung a sign that read "F--- Nazis You Are Not Welcome Here" in her dorm room window at the University of Massachusetts campus in Amherst.Courtesy of Nicole Parsons

Parsons told BuzzFeed News she was in “absolute shock” over the email.

"This email tells me the university cares more about the feelings of Nazis than the safety of their students,” she said.

In its Facebook post, the university said a “poorly worded email from Residence Life staff asking students to take down the sign does not reflect the values of the campus, and it should not have been sent.”

The school added that it “emphatically rejects Nazis, and any other hate group, a view expressed in the students’ sign.”

The statement said the university was sensitive to the use of profanity, but said the sign could remain up and it respected the student’s right to display it.

The university has documented 19 acts of hate on its campus since September, including the drawing of a swastika on a Hanukkah sign at a resident assistant’s door.

Parsons told BuzzFeed News that she took down the sign due to her roommate's concern over the attention it was getting, but that she plans to move off campus and hang the sign in her bedroom.

"I'm going to keep the sign forever," she said.