Teacher, principal placed on leave after student wears Hitler costume for Halloween

A Utah teacher and principal were placed on paid administrative leave after a Facebook post revealed that a student at their school had dressed up as Adolf Hitler to celebrate Halloween, Deseret News reports. 

Last week, the mother of a student at Creekside Elementary School in Davis County posted a photo of the child in question in a Facebook group for mothers in Weber and Davis County. The image's caption claimed that the student had been "Hailing Hitler" and made the Nazi salute "in the face of the few minority children who attend the school" during an event. The mother added that the costume itself was "ridiculous and distasteful as one could get."

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The post, which immediately gained traction on Facebook, was also allegedly shared with Utah members of Black Lives Matter, sparking outrage. 

"It just flew me into a rage because I get so many complaints about Davis School District," Lex Scott, who heads the organization's state chapter, told the newspaper. 

Scott purportedly emailed Superintendent Reid Newey, who told her that the situation would be investigated. On Friday, the district announced that it had put both the principal and teacher on administrative leave although it did not specify whether the costumed student or the employees were members of Creekside. It also did not say why the principal and teacher were suspended. 

"The Davis School District apologizes for what took place yesterday," the district said in a statement. "It does not tolerate speech, images or conduct that portray or promote hate in any form. The district is taking the matter very seriously and is investigating every aspect of the situation."

In a statement that same day, the United Jewish Federation of Utah denounced the costume.

"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 nonprofit organization said. "Dressing a child as Hitler is intolerably offensive and should never be suggested, permitted, or condoned."

According to Deseret News, the school district had previously settled a lawsuit with a family who had accused a bus driver of racially targeting their biracial child. The driver had allegedly closed the bus door on the child's backpack as he tried to leave the vehicle and drove as the student dangled outside. 

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