An elementary school in Chapel Hill, North Carolina says it was forced to cancel a “wax museum” event after some of its third grade students asked to portray controversial historical figures: Adolf Hitler, Christopher Columbus and Donald Trump.
The Frank Porter Graham Bilingue school scheduled the Wednesday event to coincide with a lesson in which children studied figures who shaped the course of world history. Students were asked to write a report about their chosen figure, and then present the report while dressed up as that figure.
But when several students opted to dress as Hitler, Columbus or Trump, school administrators decided they had no choice but to to cancel the event.
The cancellation was first reported by the Raleigh News & Observer.
“Given the current political climate and sociopolitical issues as the election approaches, some of the historical figures selected by students could create controversy and could be considered offensive to students, families and the community,” read a letter sent home to students by the principal.
The kids, at least, were understanding. Of the four students who chose Hitler, all of them were agreeable to picking another historical figure.
There’s no word on whether the students who selected Donald Trump were as amenable.
But before students could select new historical figures, the school scrapped the “wax museum” event altogether, and now says it will come up with something that’s more appropriately sensitive.
The school will encourage students “to consider what they have learned about historical figures through the biography unit, fast forward in time and prepare a presentation for their class of how they plan to impact their communities based on what they have learned about the past,” said the letter to parents.
“We are using this situation as an opportunity to develop a greater awareness and sensitivity toward all aspects of culture.”