Last week, students of a sixth grade class at Lincoln School in Fairview, New Jersey were working on a group assignment – create a poster based on Number the Stars, a historical fiction novel about a Jewish family's plight during the Holocaust. One of the posters created included images of swastikas, pictures of Jewish children with their faces crossed out, and desecrated Stars of David/Israeli flags. Said poster was then put on display on a hallway wall near theclassroom for days, before a complaint was filed on Monday by a Jewish staff member and it was taken down, as NJ.com reports.
The unnamed staff member, who is Orthodox Jewish, was offended by the sight of the poster, telling NJ.com, “It's highly offensive to anybody, especially someone who is Jewish and whose family members were survivors of the Holocaust." She said that it lacked an explanation that it was inspired by a book that covered the topic, and denies claims from the Fairview Board of Education that a copy of Number the Stars was displayed near the poster. Furthermore, she says that when she approached Lincoln School’s principal, Lea Turro, she was told that it would not be removed until, “the class' curriculum was scheduled to change.”
Fairview Superintendent Louis DeLisio spoke with NJ.com and says he ordered the poster’s removal on Tuesday after speaking with the anonymous staff member who complained and the teacher who had assigned the project. He told the New Jersey news website, “"We're not trying to offend anyone... my true feeling is they (the students) did not have any ill-intention with this poster. They were trying to depict things that were prohibited during the Holocaust."
As for the teacher who assigned the project, she was reportedly upset after learning her assignment, one that was meant to “resonate with students,” had offended a coworker, for reasons that include the fact that she is engaged to a Jewish man.
More info: NJ.com