March 29, 2015

School district reaches out after Holocaust lesson goes awry

Beaufort County school leaders are in damage control mode after a teacher manhandled a student during a lesson on the Holocaust last week.

Beaufort County School District Superintendent Valerie Truesdale says officials have reached out to Jewish clergy and lay leaders in the faith community a week after a Bluffton Middle School teacher giving a lesson on the Holocaust dragged a kid under a desk and told him “that’s what Nazis do to Jews”.

In an open letter to the community, Truesdale says that, while lessons on tolerance are taught all year long, a specific program on religious and cultural differences has now been scheduled for the third week of May.

The teacher, Patricia Mulholland has been charged with third-degree assault and battery and public disorderly conduct. She told Bluffton police she may have accidentally taken the wrong medication that day. Her attorney points to a 23-year teaching record without any previous complaints.

She has been on paid administrative leave since the incident.

Clare Beverly of Adventure Radio Group contributed to this report.