WASHINGTON (The Hill) – A staff member from D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) 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.”
“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 WTTG News 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.