I think this is the last update I’ll do on this story before putting it to bed for good.
You remember the story about the Spring-Ford school teacher who ran a side gig wrestling as a fake Nazi, right?
Turns out he’s gonna give up wrastlin’ and focus on teaching.
It was a few weeks ago that the school district decided not to discipline Kevin Bean after it was revealed that he performs as “Blitzkrieg the German Juggernaut” in a small suburban promotion. Bean would enter the arena carrying a flag emblazoned with the Iron Cross while throwing Sieg Heil salutes to the crowd, some of which were returned by redneck morons.
But Bean himself is anything but, according to parents and community members who showed up at a Monday night school board meeting.
Pottstown Mercury reporter Evan Brandt attended the meeting. He shared this video clip of Zach Laurie, president of the Spring-Ford Education Association, who read a statement written by Bean:
The “Blitzkrieg” character is being retired and Bean will no longer wrestle, at least for the time being.
It’s a good statement and Bean seems like a good dude. I hope nobody is dumb enough to think that the Nazi character was real. People are dumb, but hopefully not that dumb.
As far as the media thing, I don’t know if anybody was out there accusing him of being antisemitic or endorsing Nazi stuff, I think most of us were just saying that it probably wasn’t a good idea for a 6th grade teacher to choose a Nazi as a wrestling persona in 2018. Like I said, when you watch the videos online, you see some jabronies in the crowd returning the Sieg Heil salute and maybe one of your students sees that and gets the wrong idea.
Anyway, a bunch of people spoke up for Bean, as Brandt describes in his post:
Speaker after speaker lined up to speak about how Bean had helped their child; what an excellent teacher he is, and how much he cares.
Most speakers were parents, although some were former students themselves, including Colin Sandberg, who talked about how Bean had helped him when Sandberg’s father died suddenly while he was in sixth grade.
“I made more friends in Mr. Bean’s classsroom than in all four years of high school,” Sandberg told the board.
At least two people who identified themselves as being active in the Jewish community defended Bean and said they had been to see him wrestle and had no issue with him.
Rachel Slosberg said her son had experienced antisemitism and it was Bean who mentored her son and helped him through it
Not everybody was on that side of the fence, however:
But Jewish opinion was not unanimous Monday night and Andrew Rosabloom said he is “disappointed with the investigation” and the outcome.
Rosabloom said Bean had “failed to set a good example” for students with his character, and “the fact that he found it appropriate to say ‘sieg heil’ at an event where there were children present is reprehensible.”
“He says those are not his beliefs, but he made a conscious choice to play that character,” Rosabloom said.
One speaker noted that most of those who spoke in Bean’s defense were not minorities and may not understand what it’s like to go to school in a place where nearly all teachers and nearly 85 percent of the students are white.
My final take:
Bean seems like a stand-up guy. He expressed remorse while explaining that this was an entertainment persona and did not reflect on his personal beliefs.
The school board did the right thing by allowing him to keep his job. And he should continue to wrestle, too. Why not? Just pick a different character to play and keep doing what you do.
Again, for the 40 billionth time, since some idiots in the comments section don’t get it: if you’re a school teacher it’s generally considered wise to try to button up your private life and make sure it doesn’t compromise your public sector job. You’re just held to a different standard than, say, a sports blogger.
I’ll give the last word to Joey Styles: