Hitler costume: Aus school sorry

2010-08-27 11:31

Sydney - A west Australian school issued an apology to parents on Friday after a young boy dressed as Adolf Hitler won a costume parade.

The boy was judged best dressed among his class of nine and 10-years-olds by the principal and other teachers in a book week contest, with a costume featuring the swastika, a famous symbol of Nazi brutality.

But the unnamed Perth Catholic school sent a letter of apology to parents after a number of complaints saying that the commending of an outfit of the Nazi dictator was inappropriate.

"It's a one-off thing that in retrospect we'd do differently," the principal, who was not named, told The West Australian newspaper, defending himself by saying Hitler "was a fairly famous person".

"To me it's a mountain out of a molehill," he added.

The letter to parents said future dress-up days would be restricted to characters "appropriate for primary school-aged students" and said care would be taken to ensure students understood the "sensitivities" around certain people.

It follows an outcry in the state earlier this week over a teacher who gave high school students an assignment to plan an extremist attack which could inflict maximum casualties on "unsuspecting" people.

The assignment was quickly withdrawn after an angry backlash from parents at the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Community High School, and the teacher reprimanded for her insensitivity.