A school staff member was placed on leave after making third-grade students reenact scenes from the Holocaust, reports say

A staff member at an elementary school in Washington, DC, was placed on leave Friday after the principal said she instructed third- graders to reenact scenes from the Holocaust.

In an email sent to the students' parents, the principal of Watkins Elementary School said that the students had to dig mass graves for their classmates in reenactments of school shootings.

Principal MScott Berkowitz said in an email that students should never be asked to act out or portray any atrocity, especially genocide, war, or murder.

Berkowitz said the instructor assigned students specific roles. The child's parent told The Post that the child's teacher told the child to kill himself at the end of the exercise.

A parent of a student told Fox 5 DC that her child was told to pretend to choke and die in a gas chamber in class. She said there was a lot of crying and distress when her husband picked up their child.

The instructor told the students not to tell their parents, but the students told their homeroom teacher, according to the mother.

One parent told The Post that the instructor made anti-Semitic comments during the reenactment.

DC Public Schools apologized for the incident and said it was providing support to the students involved.

Insider did not get a response from officials at Watkins Elementary School.