Hitler costume investigation ends with teacher, principal re-instated

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A Davis County teacher and principal were re-instated after the district investigated an incident where a student apparently dressed as Hitler at school. (Photo: KUTV FILE)

An elementary school teacher and principal who were placed on administrative leave after photos surfaced of a student apparently dressed as Adolf Hitler at a Halloween event have been re-instated, the Davis School District announced in a press release Friday.

The photo was posted to Facebook the day after Halloween by a user who stated the child was dressed as Hitler during Creekside Elementary School's Halloween parade.

"The district is taking the matter very seriously and is investigating every aspect of the situation," Davis County school officials stated at the time.

Leaders of Utah's Jewish community strongly condemned the costume. In a statement, the United Jewish Federation of Utah called it "intolerably offensive."

They also expressed hope that the incident would be used as an educational opportunity for students.

Alex Shapiro, executive director of the United Jewish Federation of Utah, told 2News the “horrible” situation highlights the need for the StandUp against Hate program that the Jewish community has been pushing to integrate into schools. No Utah schools currently use the program.

Anti-Defamation League Statistics show cases of anti-Semitism have doubled nationwide the past few years. Utah saw two cases of harassment and vandalism targeting Jewish people in 2015. That number increased to 10 in 2018.

Davis officials stated on Friday that the district would "continue and expand initiatives to educate and train school and department employees regarding the importance of protecting the rights of individuals."

Because the investigation relates to personnel issues, the district stated it can't disclose more information about disciplinary action, but said the matter was taken "very seriously" and policies were followed.

"The Davis School District does not tolerate speech, images or conduct that portray or promote hate in any form. Because of that, it continues to apologize for the situation," officials wrote.