If you are looking for costume ideas for book week this year, these are probably the costumes you want to avoid.

A student dressed as Adolf Hitler for Book Week caused a stir when he was awarded a best dressed prize at a special assembly.

The worst part? He was awarded best dressed in front of Jewish exchange students from Melbourne who were visiting the Alice Springs school in 2016.

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.

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“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.

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“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.”

A statement from a St Philip’s College spokesman to news.com.au in 2016 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.”

Perth father was also slammed in the past 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.

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mother also copped some sh#t after she painted her son’s skin brown to look like AFL star Nic Naitanui.


An Aboriginal mother also published photos of her daughter in ‘whiteface’ to highlight the double standards that are inflaming racial debates in Australia.


Maybe avoid these costumes for book week 2018!

Share your comments below.

Image via Everett Historical / Shutterstock.com 

  • it won’t be long before book week is banned!


  • I have seen many “pale skinned” people with white paint on, including at events which have face painting. Some of the indigenous people seem to be discriminating against themselves


  • Ahhhhh Book Week… when did it turn ugly? When did it lose its innocence? There are so many book character options. Let’s make it about the kids and not the parents. I don’t know of any primary school student that would even necessarily know of Adolf Hitler, and the Ben Cousins option…?? I think parents need to let their children decide who their favourite book character is.


  • I can’t believe it happened in the first place, what were these parents thinking when they dressed their kids up like this?


  • What happened to the days of dressing like red riding hood or an Indian.


  • Why would you dress as Hitler and think that was appropriate? Furthermore, how on earth does that qualify for a book week costume? At my kids school you must be dressing as a fictional character from a book (they even exclude books about movies released like frozen). These costumes smack of parental stupidity, I seriously wonder what inspired them to choose such offensive and inappropriate costumes for their children.


  • Im sorry but if you are going to dress up for book week at least go all out.
    You want to make sure everyone knows who you are dressing up as and not just wearing an outfit for the sake of it.
    If you have to paint your face for “colour” of a person or thing. Do it. You shouldn’t be judged. You are dressing up as a person, animal or thing.


  • I don’t understand that when the student sought approval to dress as Hitler from a teacher prior to arriving at the school in the costume, the teacher approved of this ! I’m from the Netherlands and 2nd World War and Hitler are still very much black pages in many peoples lives (including my parents, who grew up in the war).
    The other examples of Nick Naitanui and the white face to highlight double standards, aren’t offensive to me really.


  • It really goes without saying that a hitter costume is bad.


  • OK Hitler , i understand , but a child going as his favorite footballer , that happens to be black… i see that as a compliment , not a racial act !
    I think political correctness has gone to far


  • Maybe next time re think your costume!


  • I would expect families to know that these particular costumes were in bad taste.


  • Schools need to more clearly define what is appropriate for book week and, indeed, parents need to make more informed decisions on to what their children dress like. Specifying age-appropriate literature would certainly help the cause!


  • Maybe schools should be more clear about what book week represents. It should probably be something age appropriate for starters.
    But book week is also an opportunity to get creative.


  • An error in judgement yes, but hopefully a good lesson.


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