The London Jewish community is in shock after reports surfaced that a teacher at the prestigious North London Collegiate School told a student that she would be sent "to one of your gas chambers," after the girl jumped the lunch line, reported the Jewish Chronicle on Sunday.
The incident has now resurfaced, apparently, because the parents of the girl, who was 17 at the time, pressed the headmistress on Saturday to make a public statement regarding the issue.
The father of the girl, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the Daily Mail that the incident occurred in the school's dining hall, and the remark was overheard by numerous students
"A teacher was passing by and she rushed up to my daughter and said, 'Don’t do that or I’ll have to send you to the back of the queue or to one of your gas chambers,'" he was quoted as saying.
According to the British news website, the altercation occurred in January, and the school has no intention of exposing the identity of the student or teacher involved. An apology was reportedly given to the student privately, but the school will not comment on the disciplinary action they have or have not taken.
"It was very unpleasant, very uncalled-for and very unfortunate," the Daily Mail
quoted the girl's father as saying. "My daughter was shocked and upset. She didn’t say anything to the teacher at the time but all her friends expressed amazement. They kept saying, 'Did she really say that?”'"
The Jewish Chronicle
quoted a statement made by the school saying, "The school was recently made aware of an allegation of an offensive statement made by a member of staff. The school promptly commenced an investigation.
"Having reached a determination and sought specialist legal advice, appropriate action was taken," the statement also said.
Between 20 and 25 percent of North London Collegiate School pupils are Jewish, according to deputy head Alex Wilson.
Former students include actress Rachel Weisz, and Vogue
editor Anna Wintour.