An elementary school staff member in Washington, D.C. was reportedly placed on administrative leave for telling students third grade to recreate elements from the Holocaust.
Watkins Elementary School’s unidentified staffer instructed students in the library to perform scenes, including digging mass graves and simulating shooting victims. They also told them to travel on a train from Watkins to a concentration camp, then to die in a chamber. Washington Post reported.
An official from DC Public Schools (DCPS), said that Friday’s staffer was taken off-duty while an investigation is conducted. told CNN in a statement.
A student played Adolf Hitler. He was directed to act out his suicide as Hitler. MScott BerkowitzIn an email that was seen by the Post, he informed his parents. According to reports, the student in question was Jewish.
“I want to acknowledge the gravity of this poor instructional decision, as students should never be asked to act out or portray any atrocity, especially genocide, war or murder,” Berkowitz wrote.
He said the class met with the school’s mental health response team after the incident.
In an alleged antisemitic comment, the staffer made comments about Jews during the exercise. He urged children to not tell anyone about the reenactment. When the kids asked why the Germans committed the atrocities, one parent said the staffer told them it was “because the Jews ruined Christmas.”
DCPS: CNNIt was not approved and we apologize to the families and students who were affected by it.
A district investigation has been launched into the matter.