A Spring-Ford School District sixth-grade teacher investigated by the district for his side job as a professional wrestler in which he portrays a Nazi will continue to teach there this school year.
According to an Aug. 8 letter sent home to parents by Superintendent David Goodin, teacher Kevin Bean, who wrestles for the World Wide Wrestling Alliance under the pseudonym Blitzkrieg: the German Juggernaut, “will continue to remain a teacher within the district.”
In the letter Bean, who is 36, lives in the Boyertown area and has worked for the district since 2004, apologizes to “those in the community who were offended by such actions,” but does not indicate whether he will stop wrestling as Blitzkrieg.
Attempts to reach Bean Tuesday for further comment were unsuccessful.
The investigation began in July after the district became aware of a viral video of a June 23 wrestling match in Quakertown that featured Bean.
In the video, Bean enters the arena waving a flag with the German Iron Cross and shouts “sieg heil!” while making the famous Nazi arm gesture.
“Sieg heil” translates from German as “hail victory!” and was a phrase used regularly by Nazis and German soldiers during and prior to World War II.
Although not a swastika, “the Iron Cross is a famous German military medal dating back to the 19th century. During the 1930s, the Nazi regime in Germany superimposed a swastika on the traditional medal, turning it into a Nazi symbol,” according to the Anti-Defamation League’s Hate Symbols Database.
While the video shows one woman in the crowd, which included many children, shouting “no one wants you here,” another audience member is seen in a separate clip returning Bean’s Nazi salute.
“Watching the guy do Nazi salutes on his way to the ring while children in the crowd cheer him on like a good guy is terrifying,” wrestling writer Ryan Satin wrote in a Tweet that included both video clips.
Satin is Editor-and-Chief of “ProWrestling Sheet,” a website that covers professional wrestling.
At the time the district announced its investigation in July, spokeswoman Erin Crew wrote, “the actions portrayed in this video do not represent the core values of the school district. As an educational organization, we pride ourselves in providing a safe and nurturing learning environment.”
Nevertheless, in the recent letter sent home to parents, Goodin wrote “based on the investigation completed we have found no evidence indicating violation of board policies by Mr. Bean,” Goodin wrote.
Indeed, the school board policy posted on the school district website that governs “outside activities” for professional employees lists only five specific prohibitions:
• Using school materials for personal gain;
• Using school property or time to solicit or accept customers for private enterprises;
• Campaigning on school property for candidates for local, state or national office;
• Using school time for outside activities;
• Asking the school district to assume liability for outside activities.
Despite the decision to keep Bean as a teacher, Goodin also wrote to parents, “the actions that were demonstrated in the video are not supported or sanctioned by the Spring-Ford Area School District and we will work with our staff so that we may continue to uphold the high standards our community has come to expect.”
Goodin said in the letter that district officials “shared with Mr. Bean the concerns that were raised about the character he played. While many understand that professional wrestling is a form of entertainment and not a reflection of one’s personal beliefs, Mr. Bean understands that the character he played has been viewed by some as being offensive,” Goodin wrote.
The letter contains the following statement from Bean:
“The character I portrayed did not reflect my personal feelings or beliefs and I do apologize to those in the community who were offended by such actions. I have spent many years working in the Spring-Ford community and pride myself in providing an exceptional education to my students over the course of 14 years.”
As of Aug. 14, “Blitzkrieg: The German Juggernaut” was still listed on the World Wide Wrestling Alliance web page as one of its superstars.
Goodin concluded his letter to parents by writing, “we recognize that there may be an emotional impact for some parents, students and community members who may have lingering concerns. Based upon the news coverage and social media exposure of this situation, students may have questions and concerns as we get closer to the start of the school year.”
Goodin added, “if this is the case, I encourage you to talk with your students about this situation and reassure them that all of our Spring-Ford schools are safe and welcoming to each and every student. In addition, the District has many additional helpful resources available to assist you.”