An elementary school employee in Washington, DC, forced third graders to pretend to die in gas chambers and shoot their classmates in a gruesome reenactment of the Holocaust, according to Washington Post. The teacher, who was not named in an email to parents of students from the principal of Watkins Elementary, was placed on furlough last week. Principle MScott Berkowitz writes that third graders, who were sent to a class in the library on Friday for a different self-directed project, were made to simulate scenes by the teacher during the allotted research time.
When the students asked him why the Germans committed genocide, a parent told MailThe school employee reportedly responded, “Because the Jews destroyed Christmas.” The employee also reportedly threw at one of the students, identified by another parent as Jewish, the name Adolf Hitler. The student was told to pretend to commit suicide at the end of the exercise. Another student in the third grade was allegedly pretending to be on a train to a concentration camp.
The staff member apparently asked the students not to tell anyone about the re-enactment once it was finished, but they informed the class teacher, according to a parent. Berkowitz wrote, “I want to acknowledge the gravity of this poor educational decision, as students should never be asked to act or portray any atrocity.”
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