A teacher from told a class of primary school children that she would ‘ship them off to the gas chambers’ if they didn’t finish their work.
When one of the 10-year-old pupils challenged her she said she was ‘joking’ before asking the children not to tell anyone.
This was happening in Newberries Primary School in Radlett, Hertfordshire. The anti-Semitic comment was made to a class of 28 children, 11 who are Jewish, on Thursday.
Almost a third of people living in the commuter village of Radlett identify as Jewish – more than 2,200 people in total.
Parents at the school say the teacher said: ‘You better finish off your work quick, or I’ll ship you all off to the gas chambers.’
Pupils told their parents about the incident and word quickly circulated on school WhatsApp groups.
Many parents contacted the school’s head teacher to say they would be withdrawing their children unless the staff member was sacked.
Newberries Primary School said its governors and leadership team are undertaking a full investigation. After an emergency meeting of the board of governors on Thursday night, the teacher was dismissed.
Newberries said in a statement that the teacher in question was an agency worker and had no permanent employment contract with the school.
One parent, who did not want to be named, told MailOnline: ‘To the credit of the school they made it clear they wanted to deal with the situation without delay.
‘They did not seek to dispute the suggestion that the teacher had made the reference to “gas chambers”.
‘The fact that the woman was sacked the following day says everything you need to know.’