Principal, Teacher On Administrative Leave Over Hitler Costume
KAYSVILLE, Utah — The Davis School District placed a principal and teacher on paid administrative leave Friday and said it was investigating how a student ended up wearing an apparent Adolf Hitler costume to a Halloween parade.
Video and pictures from the event at Creekside Elementary surfaced on social media posts, which showed the boy dressed up with a Hitler-esque mustache and what resembled a Nazi uniform with a swastika armband.
“The Davis School District apologizes for what took place yesterday,” district officials said in a statement. “It does not tolerate speech, images or conduct that portray or promote hate in any form.”
The district said it was investigating “every aspect of the situation.”
One mom, who asked not to be identified for the safety of her family, said the costume made her feel “angry and sad”— the latter because she didn’t know what factors at home contributed to the attire.
“How do I know that this child isn’t being taught so much hate that one day he decides to lash out and take it out on my son at school because my son is a minority?” the woman said.
Multiple parents said the child was also doing the Nazi salute, and some questioned why at any given point the boy wasn’t stopped or told to change before the parade.
“We need to take into account how our actions affect other people when something like this happens,” the mother said.
Late Friday, the United Jewish Federation of Utah also waded into the discussion over the costume, noting in a statement that it is “deeply concerned about the rising tide of hateful speech and actions” across the country and is “appalled” that the student was allowed to participate in the parade.
“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 statement from the federation said. “Dressing a child as Hitler is intolerably offensive and should never be suggested, permitted, or condoned.”
The mother who witnessed the costume and posted about it on Facebook said she was equally shocked by some of the responses, some of which made disparaging remarks about her race.
“There’s just been a whole lot of comments that are in favor of the costume,” she said. “They’ve yelled at me, ‘free speech.’ They’ve yelled at me that Hitler is part of our history and that children need to learn about that, which I completely agree. They do need to learn about that, but they need to learn about it in the light that it is and not glorify it.”
The teacher and principal were reinstated on Nov. 8, according to district officials.