A South Carolina middle school teacher has been accused of dragging a student under a table during class, saying, "This is what the Nazis do to Jews," police said Monday, according to the Associated Press .
The 12-year-old student affirmed that his teacher, Patricia Mulholland, grabbed him by the collar and said, "Come here, Jew," when he got up to sharpen a pencil at the Bluffton Middle School on Wednesday.
The teacher then dragged him 10 feet under a table and made the comment about the Nazis, according to police. The seventh-grade teacher claims she was trying to teach the students about the Holocaust.
"What was a demonstrative attempt to teach about World War II and the Holocaust has been taken to mean an anti-Semitic rant and it was nothing like that," said her attorney, Robert Ferguson.
Mulholland was arrested and faces charges of assault and battery and public disorderly conduct, Bluffton Police spokesman Lt. Joe Babkiewicz stated.
According to her attorney, Mulholland has not had any previous problems with Beaufort County schools during her 23-year teaching career.
"This is such a sensitive topic. But what do you determine is instructive teaching? Where is that line?" Ferguson said. School district officials said Mulholland was placed on administrative leave Thursday.
The district is sharing information with the police and intends to conduct its own investigation once the criminal probe is comes to an end, The AP reported.
Police would not identify the student and refused to say whether he was Jewish.