A staff member at a school in Washington D.C. was suspended on Friday after forcing third-grade children to reenact scenes from the Holocaust, including shooting victims and digging mass graves, The Washington Post reported on Sunday.
The report said that a staff member at Wakins Elementary School instructed children in library class to “dig their classmates’ mass graves and simulate shooting the victims,” an email from the school’s principal, MScott Berkowitz, to the third-graders’ parents said.
She also assigned roles to students, including casting a Jewish student as Adolf Hitler and telling her to feign suicide at the end of the skit.
One parent said that her son was told to pretend to be on a train to the concentration camp and then feign dying in a gas chamber. He also was told to pretend he was shooting his friends.
Parents said that the instructor made anti-Semitic statements during the “lesson,” including that the Germans did this “because the Jews ruined Christmas.” The instructor told the students not to tell anyone about the reenactment but they told their homeroom teacher.
“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 said in the email.
The students met with the school’s mental health response team following the incident.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)