A primary-school teacher in England was fired after allegedly “joking” to pupils about “sending them to the gas chamber” if they failed to finish their work.

The teacher at Newberries Primary School, Hertfordshire, told a class of 28 10-year-olds, including 11 who are Jewish, on Thursday: “You better finish off your work quick, or I’ll ship you all off to the gas chambers,” according to parents.

The teacher reportedly apologized afterwards, saying she was “joking” and asking the students not to tell anyone. The pupils reported the anti-Semitic comment to parents, who expressed outrage on school WhatsApp group chats. The teacher was fired a day after making the comments.

A spokesman for Newberries Primary School said, “We can confirm that last week we were made aware that an alleged racist comment had been made by an agency teacher working within the school. We acted on this immediately, and our governors and leadership team are undertaking a full investigation. The agency teacher will not be returning.”

The school said that religious leaders from different faith groups would be invited to speak to the children, as they have done in previous years.

The school, with 203 students enrolled ages 4 to 11, is in a commuter village where about one-quarter of the 8,000 residents identify as Jewish, reported the UK’s Daily Mail.

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