A California elementary school made major revisions to its sixth-grade performance of "The Sound of Music."
Parents at Rolling Hills Elementary complained about Nazi elements, including swastikas and "Heil Hitler" salutes, used in telling the story of the von Trapp family's escape from Nazi-ruled Austria in the years before World War II, and school officials intervened, reported KNBC-TV.
“These social media posts of our children could leave them vulnerable to co-opting of these photographs by nefarious individuals or groups meant to mock or exploit our children for their own purposes,” said Fullerton School District superintendent Bob Pletka in a statement. "I made the decision to remove these signs and symbols associated with genocide from the play."
Pletka said he also wanted to foster a safe and respectful environment for alls students, and some parents said they were creeped out by the Nazi elements in the Rogers and Hammerstein musical, which is based on a 1949 memoir by Maria von Trapp.
“When my wife called me, she said, ‘Our son was whispering ‘little Nazi boy, little Nazi boy,' [and] I’m like, what? Where’s that coming from?” one parent said at a district meeting. “My 8-year-old does not need to be hearing that. My 8-year-old does not need to be participating, or have that understanding at that age.”
But not all parents agreed with the decision.
"The kids in our sixth grade, they go to the Museum of Tolerance, they have a Holocaust survivor come talk to their classroom," said parent Sarah Blake. "They have spent months learning about World War II, Holocaust, all those things, and this play is the culmination of the history that they've learned."