It was an idea that should have immediately been dubbed an “ultimate fancy dress fail” before it was brought to fruition.
Instead, a student dressed as Adolf Hitler for Book Week has been awarded a best dressed prize at a special assembly in front of Jewish exchange students from Melbourne who were visiting the Alice Springs school.
St Philip’s College principal Roger Herbert said it was an error in judgment and apologies had been made to the exchange students who were visiting at the time, the ABC reported.
“We got them together and apologised and they were fantastic, absolutely fantastic, and accepting,” Mr Herbert told the ABC.
“We also contacted the school to say look, this had happened, please understand.”
The student had sought approval to dress as Hitler from a teacher prior to arriving at the school in the costume.
“In a busy school, this student did go to a respected staff member said ‘is this OK?’ and the staff member said ‘yes’,” Mr Herbert said.
“Now she is absolutely shattered that she said that, and I’m really concerned about her wellbeing.”
The college’s website states the institution is a “Uniting Church coeducational boarding and day school for students in Years 7-12”.
A statement from a St Philip’s College spokesman to news.com.au read: “This was an innocent mistake by a teacher who is a respected, honourable and lovely person who got it wrong on the day.
“The student involved has an interest in history and politics and did the right thing by getting permission for his ‘book week’ costume.
“We are reviewing our policies on these kind of events to ensure that nothing like this can happen again.
“The school is providing support and assistance to the teacher, the student, and their family. It has been a very distressing lesson for all concerned.”
The scandal comes after a Perth father was last month slammed for posting a photo on Facebook of his son dressed as former AFL player Ben Cousins — complete with white powder around his nose and eyes rolled back in his head.
The picture of the boy, who is wearing a West Coast Eagles jumper and holding Cousins’ biography during Book Week, went viral and attracted widespread criticism.
Cousins’ battle with recreational drug use has been widely reported, with the former AFL star attending rehab a number of times.
“To put all the butt hurt people at ease — (my son) had no idea why he had flour on his nose and I told him to act silly and I got the pic,” the father posted.
“It’s a piss-take because of the Nic Nat issue — lighten up.”
The dad posted the photo in response to the “blackface” outrage earlier that week, where a West Australian-based mother painted her son’s skin brown to look like AFL star Nic Naitanui.
The woman posted the photo on blogger Constance Hall’s public Facebook account to share her “absolute QUEENING moment” of her son dressed and painted brown so he looked like Naitanui.
The mother posted on Facebook that she had been worried about painting her son’s face.
“So many politically correct extremists these days,” the unidentified woman wrote.
“He is pastey White (sic) and if I just sent him in a wig and footy gear, no one would tell who he was.”
The posts sparked widespread outrage from social media users — including a response from the AFL star himself.
Naitanui, who is of Fijian heritage, said he did not believe the mother intended harm.
“Honestly, I’ve encouraged this mistake in the past but I’m now educated of its origins, let’s grow together, ” the West Coast ruckman posted in a lengthy Twitter post.
“The young bloods innocence merely attempting to emulate his hero hurts my heart. Especially when that hero is me!
“It’s a shame racism coexists in an environment where our children should be nurtured not tortured because they are unaware of the painful historical significance ‘blackface’ has had previously on the oppressed.
“I don’t believe the mother had any intention to cause harm, just wanted her kid to simply be ‘Nic Nat’ however may reflect on this and choose an alternate method next time.’’