A Jewish high school student at an exclusive British private girls’ school who tried to cut in line during lunch was reportedly reprimanded by a teacher who threatened to send her to “one of your gas chambers.”
The incident apparently occurred in January, Britain’s Daily Mail reported. According to the girl’s father, who was not named, the teacher made the comment after the 17-year-old girl unhooked a rope barrier within the lunch line at her school dining hall.
“A teacher was passing by and she rushed up to my daughter and said, ‘Don’t do that or I’ll have to send you to the back of the queue or to one of your gas chambers,’” the father told the Daily Mail.
The father said the comment was heard by a large number of other students who were in line.
“It was very unpleasant, very uncalled for and very unfortunate. 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 girl’s father said.
North London Collegiate School, the pricey prep school, counts among its alumni actress Rachel Weisz and Vogue editor Anna Wintour, the Daily Mail noted.
In a statement, the school said it “is proud of its rich, multi-cultural history and celebrates equality and diversity within the school community. The school was recently made aware of an allegation of an offensive statement made by a member of staff. The school promptly commenced an investigation.”
“Having reached a determination and sought specialist legal advice, appropriate action was taken,” the statement said.
According to the Daily Mail, the teacher apologized privately to the girl, but several months later, the school has still not specified what type of action was taken.
The girl’s parents are now urging the headmistress to make a public statement to emphasize that the school took the remark seriously.
Another family reported the incident to the Community Security Trust, an organization that aims to combat anti-Semitism in Britain and to educate about the Holocaust, during which Jews were killed in Nazi gas chambers.
Community Security Trust communications director Mark Gardner told the Daily Mail, “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.”