Teacher accused over 'Nazi' jibe during history lesson

An American teacher was arrested earlier this week after being accused of hauling a student across the classroom and shrieking "this is what the Nazis do to Jews".

Police in South Carolina have confirmed that Patricia Mulholland pulled the 12 year old schoolboy to the floor by his collar during a history lesson. She was also said to have shouted "burn Jew" at the pupil.

The social studies teacher has stood by the incident. Her lawyer claimed that Ms Mulholland was using an "interactive" method to educate students on 20th century history.

Robert Ferguson said: "What was a demonstrative attempt to teach about [the Second World War] and the Holocaust has been taken to mean an antisemitic rant and it was nothing like that."

The schoolboy's parents have begun legal proceedings and on Monday pressed charges against the teacher.

The local police chief, David McAllister, said that Mulholland "may have been under the influence of drugs," in a statement to ABC News.

Ms Mulholland, who is currently on administrative leave from the school, has a hearing scheduled for May 22, facing up to 30 days imprisonment and $500 fine for misdemeanor charges of third-degree assault, battery and public disorderly conduct.

Police have not yet confirmed whether the schoolboy is Jewish.

    Last updated: 4:48pm, May 2 2012