A Jewish student was reprimanded by officials at his Alabama high school after he shared on social media a video of his teacher and classmates doing a Nazi salute.
Mountain Brook high school student Ephraim Tytell says gesture was part of a lesson on how the meaning behind symbols changes over time. Prior to World War II, a similar gesture dubbed the "Bellamy Salute," was commonly used to honor the American flag.
"He 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," Tytell told local affiliate WIAT.
"I felt upset, unsure of what’s going on. Just kind of shocked," he added.
After posting the video on social media, Tytell was reprimanded for making the school district "look bad."
"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 told WIAT.
Mountain Brook released a statement regarding the incident, saying the short clip posted online was "not representative of the lesson, what was being taught, or the context of the instruction that was occurring." No students were instructed to raise their hands to demonstrate the salute, the school added.
"Understanding the sensitive nature of this subject, Mountain Brook Schools has addressed the instructional strategy used with the teacher and does not condone the modeling of this salute when a picture or video could accurately convey the same message," the statement said.
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