On Wednesday, CBS 42 reported that a Jewish student at a school in Mountain Brook, Alabama was rebuked and threatened by the school after he spoke out about a lesson in which he said the teacher and students were giving Nazi salutes.
Apparently, the lesson involved students learning that what became the Nazi salute was at one point used in the United States and was not seen as a symbol of white supremacy.
"'He [the teacher] explained to us that in America we used to do that before WWII and everything and then he proceeded to show us, ask us to stand up to salute the flag and he and everyone else did the Nazi salute," Ephraim told CBS 42. "I felt upset, unsure of what’s going on. Just kind of shocked.'"
Ephraim told CBS 42 that he was even more shocked when the school proceeded to reprimand him the next day for complaining.
"'They proceeded to tell me that I’m making Mountain Brook look bad for uploading the video and sharing it and asked me to apologize to my teacher, which I refused to," he said. "The day after he made our class, and our class only, put up our phones and he moved me from sitting in the back of the class to right next to him."
In a statement, the school tried to downplay their actions.
"The focus of the lesson was the meaning of symbols, how they change, and why the Bellamy Salute should never again be recognized due to its association with the actions of the Nazi Party," said their statement. "The picture and 3 second video being circulated are not representative of the lesson, what was being taught, or the context of the instruction that was occurring. Any representation that this picture or video represents a Mountain Brook teacher attempting to instruct students on how to use the Nazi Party Salute or instruct them to use the salute towards the American flag is unequivocally false. No students were asked to raise their hand for any reason."
However, the statement also said the school would work with Jewish groups to prevent misunderstandings in future.
Watch the report here: