Photos of a Utah elementary school student dressed as Hitler during a Halloween parade has sparked outrage. According to local news reports, a teacher and principal at Davis County School District have been placed on leave in relation to the incident.
A photo showing the boy’s costume was posted on Facebook last week by the mother of another child, according to the Washington Post. The photo showed a young boy wearing a brown dress shirt tucked into tan pants at Creekside Elementary School in Utah. The boy was also wearing a thin mustache and a red armband with a swastika.
In the photo’s caption, the mom also mentioned that the boy raised a Nazi salute “in the face of the few minority children who attend the school,” according to the Washington Post.
The costume faced intense backlash, with many calling the school irresponsible for allowing a student to participate in activities in costume. The United Jewish Federation of Utah released a statement, calling the incident “intolerably offensive.”
“Almost all Jews and Americans regard Hitler and Nazi symbols as signifiers of the worst hatred, racism, and crimes against humanity that the world has known, the Facebook statement read. “Dressing a child as Hitler is intolerably offensive and should never be suggested, permitted, or condoned.
Many parents also expressed concern that the school allowed the boy to wear his costume.
The school district released a statement to local media apologizing for the incident. “I was told they thought he was Charlie Chaplin,” one mother told KSTU, “and I’m like, he has a whole swastika on his arm.”
The mother added that the boy targeted her son with a Nazi salute.
“The fact that it was at a school, he had to have been seen by his teacher, by multiple people,” she said.
“The Davis School District apologizes for what took place Thursday at Creekside Elementary,” the statement said. “It does not tolerate speech, images or conduct that portray or promote hate in any form.”