British teacher threatens Jewish student with gas chamber

Parents demand answers as teen at London school is subject to anti-Semitic remarks after she tries to cut in line

Marissa Newman is The Times of Israel political correspondent.

A Jewish 17-year-old who attempted to cut a line was reprimanded by a teacher who allegedly threatened to send the teen girl to “one of your gas chambers,” the student’s father said Sunday, according to The Daily Mail.

The teacher, who has been employed at the North London Collegiate School for a few years, apologized to the student privately after the incident occurred a few months ago.

However, due to the institution’s opacity regarding whether the educator was penalized, the parents issued a demand for greater transparency on how the issue was ultimately resolved.

According to the report, when the student tried to cut a line in the lunchroom, she was told, “Don’t do that or I’ll have to send you to the back of the queue or to one of your gas chambers.”

A statement from the school said an investigation was launched following the report of “an offensive statement made by a member of staff.”

“Having reached a determination and sought specialist legal advice, appropriate action was taken,” it said, and did not elaborate.

The North London Collegiate School (photo credit: CC BY Matt Brown, Flickr)
The North London Collegiate School (photo credit: CC BY Matt Brown, Flickr)

The student’s father, a businessman, called for “an element of visibility so people see the teacher has been disciplined. My wife and I would also like the school to make a public statement that there has been an incident and [the remark] was totally unacceptable.”

“It was very unpleasant, very uncalled-for and very unfortunate,” her father said. “My daughter was shocked and upset. She didn’t say anything to the teacher at the time but all her friends expressed amazement. They kept saying, ‘Did she really say that?'”

The remark was reported by another family to the Community Security Trust, an organization that combats anti-Semitism in the UK.

“This would be highly offensive in any circumstance, but to be directed at a pupil by a teacher is unheard of and makes it far worse,” communications director Mark Gardner said. “We are working with all parties to resolve the matter.”

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