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Professor explains history of “Bellamy Salute” in wake of Mountain Brook history lesson controversy

Published: Feb. 9, 2022 at 11:03 PM CST
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MOUNTAIN BROOK, Ala. (WBRC) -We’re getting new reaction to the controversy surrounding a Mountain Brook City School history lesson. That’s after a video and picture surfaced online that appeared to show a student performing a “Nazi salute” in class.

The school system says the picture and videos being circulated are not representative of the lesson that was being taught, but the head of the Alabama Holocaust Commission says the salute should have never happened in the first place.

Dan Puckett, author and a Troy University history professor, says before the 1930s there was nothing sinister about the Bellamy salute. But the Nazi party eventually adopted it.

Puckett who is chair of the Alabama Holocaust Commission says now there is no reason or benefit for students to act the salute out.

“You could certainly have gotten the point across simply showing photographs which in a lot of ways I do in my class but trying to reenact something of this nature. There is just no benefit, no pedagogical benefit to do it,” Puckett said.

Puckett says Mountain Brook schools should consult with organizations like the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center to learn more about the history of the salute among other things.

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