Teacher gave Nazi salute, had students say ‘Heil Hitler,’ but district says didn’t ‘intend to cause harm’
A teacher at a Wisconsin middle school made an antisemitic gesture and remark in class, but allegedly didn’t “intend to cause harm,” according to an investigation by the district.
According to the local parent newsletter “Elmbrook Community Need to Know,” on Sept. 21 an eighth grade math teacher from Wisconsin Hills Middle School gave the Nazi salute to her class and told the students to respond with either “Heil Hilter” or “Heil [Teacher Surname].”
After garnering media attention, the school sent a letter to all families following a similar message that was only sent to students and families directly impacted earlier in the week.
The Elmbrook school district declined further comment, but provided FOX News Digital with the letter Principal Matt Schroede sent to all families of the middle school Friday.
The letter acknowledged the incident occurred and said a “complete investigation” took place.
“Regrettably, one of our teachers made an antisemitic gesture and remark during class that is highly offensive to both Jewish and non-Jewish individuals, something we would not tolerate from any student or staff member at Wisconsin Hills,” the letter said. “Following a complete investigation, it was our determination that the teacher did not intend to cause harm, yet it was a clear violation of our staff professional responsibilities.”
The letter added that in the course of the past week, “disciplinary action and corrective measures” were implemented “including antisemitism education.”
“To be clear, the behavior described above is not condoned nor does it represent the attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors of our staff members,” the letter concluded. “As we do with our students, we will hold our staff to the highest standard of professionalism and respond quickly when that standard is not met.”
An anonymous parent of Elmbrook schools said the incident seemed to be “part of a pattern of inappropriate behavior in staff at Elmbrook in the last few years,” citing a sex survey given to students, an inappropriate link in an email signature and explicit books brought into school that didn’t follow policy guidelines.
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