WASHINGTON (The Hill) — A staff member from D.C. Public Schools is on leave after reportedly making third graders participate in a Holocaust re-enactment.
The Washington Post reported that a Watkins Elementary School staff member had students pretend to dig their classmates’ mass graves and act out shooting the victims.
DCPS said in a statement provided to The Hill that it was investigating the reports.
“DC Public Schools is committed to creating a welcoming environment for all students,” it said. “Last week, we received a report of a classroom of students receiving a lesson that included portraying different perspectives of the Holocaust. Students should never be tasked with acting out any atrocity, especially genocide and war.”
“Additionally, there were allegations of a staff member using hate speech during the lesson, which is unacceptable and not tolerated at any of our schools,” the statement added.
A parent told the Post that the staff member told the students that the Germans’ actions in the Holocaust were “because the Jews ruined Christmas.”
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“This was not an approved lesson plan, and we sincerely apologize to our students and families who were subjected to this incident,” the school system also said.
A parent told FOX 5 that the school librarian gave the lesson on the Holocaust.
A Watkins Elementary librarian told the news station that “somebody’s misquoting what happened in the library that day,” adding that there was no Holocaust re-enactment or hate speech.