A boy was told to give the nazi salute in class. When others followed suit, this girl spoke up.

Last week, an 11-year-old girl was reprimanded and sent to the principal's office for telling several classmates to stop giving the nazi salute.

Yes, you read that right.

As part of an interactive fifth grade social studies class project at the McFadden School of Excellence in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, one student was assigned to portray Adolf Hitler, and according to Huffington Post, his teacher instructed him to give the Sieg Heil salute as part of his presentation.


The girl, whose father later shared the whole story, including back and forth between him and the school administration in a Twitter thread, noted that while she'd initially been given the opportunity to express why the situation upset her, afterwards she was told “not address it again.”

However, because fifth graders can be mean, several students who saw how upset the salute made the girl decided to perform it at her repeatedly.

Keith Jack Gamble, the girl's father, noted that the saluting continued for weeks until some 10 to 20 students were doing it. This finally culminated in Gamble’s daughter shouting “stop it” and “put your hands down" at her classmates, which led to disciplinary action taken against her for being “disrespectful with her tone and body language to teachers.” She was then sent to the principal's office.

While the school claims teachers intervened at the few confirmed instances of harassment and the principal said he gave the entire fifth-grade class a talking to, the school is taking no responsibility for the inciting assignment.

“It was never intended to be offensive and the salute was definitely not encouraged to be performed by the other students,” the school's communications director told HuffPost.

What was intended is hardly the point though. Fifth grade-aged children are incredibly impressionable, and by teaching them to use hateful gestures like that you're opening up a dangerous can of worms. What's perhaps even more troubling though is that the assigning teacher didn't seem to consider that the assignment might be offensive to other students in class in the first place.

The school has since agreed to stop including the nazi salute in history presentations, but many believe the damage has already been done.

This is hardly the first time the nazi salute has appeared in schools in America.

Most recently, a group of High School students in Wisconsin performed it in a group photo as a gag, even though it was distressing to a few students.

Hateful actions, even if they're not necessarily intended to be, are sadly contagious and educators have a responsibility to quell them rather than put them in their curriculum. This is especially important during this highly politically-charged time in America when racism and bigotry have been elevated by a number of divisive groups.

This hate can end with our children as long as we protect them from it as much as we can.

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I'm staring at my screen watching the President of the United States speak before a stadium full of people in North Carolina. He launches into a lie-laced attack on Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and the crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!"

The President does nothing. Says nothing. He just stands there and waits for the crowd to finish their outburst.

WATCH: Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after he criticizes Rep. Ilhan Omar www.youtube.com

My mind flashes to another President of the United States speaking to a stadium full of people in North Carolina in 2016. A heckler in the crowd—an old man in uniform holding up a TRUMP sign—starts shouting, disrupting the speech. The crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!"

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

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