Advance Notice: Briefs

Tennis instructor accused of flashing Nazi salute at Birmingham schools meeting loses his job

By: - August 23, 2021 2:40 pm

The Birmingham Public Schools Board of Education during a meeting where a Bloomfield Hills man flashed a Nazi salute. | Screenshot

Paul Marcum, who witnesses say flashed a Nazi salute and chanted “Heil Hitler” at a raucous Birmingham Board of Education meeting last week, has lost his job as a tennis instructor at the Sports Club of West Bloomfield.

Marcum worked at the health and fitness club every fall but he won’t be allowed to return this year, the owner told the Detroit Metro Times, declining further comment.

Marcum also owns Paul Marcum’s Tennis Service LLC and lives in Bloomfield Hills, according to state records.

Police are investigating Marcum after witnesses said he flashed the Nazi salute and repeated “Heil Hitler” Wednesday evening while a Black woman and Jewish woman were at a podium showing their support for the school district’s new mask mandate.

Police interviewed Marcum at the meeting and later talked with witnesses. Metro Times couldn’t reach police for comment Monday morning.

The meeting turned chaotic as anti-maskers booed and jeered the district’s decision to require students to wear face coverings inside school buildings.

In a letter following the meeting, Superintendent Embekka Roberson notified parents of the Nazi salute and said the district will not tolerate hate.

“Birmingham Public Schools emphatically denounces and will not tolerate any act of racism, disrespect, violence, and/or inequitable treatment of any person, including actions and statements made at Board of Education meetings. It is in situations when people feel strongly about a matter, and emotions run high, that we most need to model appropriate behaviors for our students,” Roberson wrote. “Last night’s meeting did not consistently display the behaviors that we expect from our students and community.”

Metro Times couldn’t reach Marcum for comment.

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Steve Neavling
Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling is an award-winning investigative journalist with the Detroit Metro Times. He operated Motor City Muckraker, an online news site devoted to exposing abuses of power and holding public officials accountable. Neavling also hosted Muckraker Report on 910AM from September 2017 to July 2018. Before launching Motor City Muckraker, Neavling was a five-year veteran of the Detroit Free Press, covering Detroit’s city hall.