Fifth grader who told classmates to stop doing the Nazi salute was pulled out of class

An elementary school in Tennessee will no longer teach students the Nazi salute during a history lesson after an 11-year-old girl was pulled out of class after asking classmates to stop making the gesture.

In a series of tweets on Tuesday, Keith Jacks Gamble, an associate finance professor at Middle Tennessee State University, said his daughter’s classmates at McFaden School of Excellence in Murfreesboro, made the Nazi salute on multiple occasions.

He said it started after a teacher instructed one student to give the “Sieg Heil” during a history project in which the boy was portraying Adolf Hitler.

The father said that for weeks children “have been giving Nazi salutes in the hallways and at recess.”

Gamble said his daughter was told “not to address it” when she spoke out about the salutes, and on Thursday was taken out of class after shouting “Stop it, put your hands down now,” to a group of students who were responding to the boy portraying Hitler.

In an email to Gamble’s wife shared on Twitter, his daughter’s teacher said the girl was given “an open platform at that time to appropriately voice her concerns and share with her peers her feelings, then she was asked to not address it again.”

James Evans, a spokesperson for Rutherford County Schools, said in a statement to INSIDER that Thursday’s incident happened during a rehearsal for a World War II exhibit of living history performed by fifth-graders at the school.

Evans said that when students responded to the boy portraying Hitler with a Nazi salute, “one student became upset and had an outburst.”

He said the teacher tried to talk with the student and calm her down, “but was unable to do so.” After calling the student’s mother, the teacher took the girl to the principal’s office to talk about what happened.

Read more: A high school student in Missouri is being investigated after posting a racist Snapchat threatening to lynch black athletes

“The student was not disciplined or punished in any way for her concerns or actions,” Evans said. “In fact, the school agrees the actions of the students were completely inappropriate. The principal also investigated concerns that the salute had happened more than once, and he was able to confirm two instances where some students gave the salute (outside of the history project).”

Evans said the principal spoke to the fifth graders to stop further instances, and sent parents an email condemning hate-filled and insensitive symbols.

“In addition, the school will no longer feature a student portraying Hitler or the salute as part of the Living History project. The school will find alternative means of covering the fifth-grade history standard,” Evans said.

INSIDER has contacted Gamble for comment.


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