SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) — A Catholic primary school in Australia apologized to parents after a student dressed as Hitler won a dress-up competition.
Students aged 9 and 10 at the school in Perth, in western Australia, had been asked to dress as famous people. Teachers awarded first prize to the child dressed as Hitler, spurring an outcry from parents.
The principal of the school, which has not been identified, issued a letter of apology last week reassuring parents that future dress-up activities would be restricted to famous people “appropriate for primary school-aged students.”
But in an interview with the West Australian newspaper, the principal said people had made a “mountain out of a molehill” and described the dress-up activity as a “one-off thing.”
“Hitler was a fairly famous person,” the newspaper reported him as saying.
The principal added that children who reportedly responded with chants of “Hitler! Hitler!” were simply cheering for the person they thought should win the contest.