A junior high special education teacher claims that her son’s shocking Hitler costume — which included a brush mustache and a Nazi swastika on a red armband — was merely the result of needing a last-minute outfit for a recent community Halloween event.
But Janet Arsanian, employed at Cortney Junior High School, in Boulder City, Nev., is under fire, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, after photos of her son dressed as Adolf Hitler at a Boulder City Chamber of Commerce-sponsored event, “Trunk or Treat,” went viral.
Many viewers were quick to express their outrage. One person wrote, “[This] teacher needs a lesson. [Such] a disgusting person, and raising a kid and teaching other kids?! Wow CCSD!” Another shared, “Proof you can have a college education and not be terribly bright…why the hell did she think this was okay?? And it’s a shame because there’s such a dire need for special education teachers.”
However, Arsanian, in a private post to a Boulder City Facebook group that has since been deleted, said that the Hitler costume was simply thrown together in haste and does not reflect her or her family’s views.
“I’m the proud parent of the boy in the Hitler costume and my son did not mean to upset anyone,” Arsanian wrote. “He needed a last minute costume and he put that together today. He went as Hitler yes, a historical figure. No we don’t worship Hitler or agree with what he did.”
The mother then compared dressing as Hitler to dressing as fictional evil characters such as Michael Myers of Halloween and wrote that her son chose to dress as Hitler because of his haircut. “He did it all by himself and I’m proud of him,” she said. “If you guys are so sensitive maybe you should not leave your house.”
Brian Scott, a fellow teacher at Cortney Junior High, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Arsanian is one of the best teachers he’s worked with.
“As soon as I looked at that, I thought, ‘It’s a kid in a Halloween costume. Why are you going after his mother and her job? Because you don’t like the Halloween costume?’” he said.
While he understands that people believe the costume was in poor taste, he made it clear that he believes Arsanian and her son are not Nazi sympathizers. “People dress up like the devil and witches and vampires and things like that all the time,” he said. “Evil things.”
Kirsten Searer, a Clark County School District spokeswoman, said that the district is aware of the social media posts but would not reveal whether Arsanian would face disciplinary action.
Arsanian did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s requests for comment.
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