A Washington, D.C., sixth-grade teacher will apologize to students for a recent homework assignment that asked them to compare former President George W. Bush with Adolf Hitler, a school district representative said.
The McKinley Middle School teacher admitted to showing "extremely poor judgment and short-sightedness" for the Venn diagram assignment that said both Bush and Hitler "abused their powers," WRC-TV reported.
A D.C. Public Schools representative declined to release the teacher's name or say whether the teacher faces disciplinary action, calling it a personnel matter. A statement from the district to TheBlaze said the assignment stemmed from a "war and peace" unit that has students "explore different perspectives and determine when conflict is warranted, and when peace should prevail."
“The teacher admits to extremely poor judgment and short-sightedness and will apologize to students," the statement said. "The school will also send a letter home to families explaining the incident and offering to address any additional questions should they arise."
The 2003 Associated Press report the teacher apparently used for one of the assignment texts deals with the controversy surrounding the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but makes no mention of Bush abusing power. One parent told WRC the assignment was troubling because it presented opinion as fact and demonstrated a lack of respect for the office of the president.
Here's the complete statement from D.C. Public Schools:
“The District of Columbia Public Schools provides teachers with an English-Language Arts curriculum that outlines the topics, texts, and standards to be taught within instructional units, while allowing teachers the flexibility to decide the best approach and day-to-day lessons for their students. One of the units at the beginning of the year is about War and Peace, allowing students to explore different perspectives and determine when conflict is warranted, and when peace should prevail. This week, a DCPS teacher created a worksheet to assign as homework which asked students to compare and contrast President George W. Bush and Adolf Hitler, after reading two texts. No DCPS curriculum materials suggest in any way that teachers should compare the texts in this manner or compare Hitler to any other individual. One text, “Fighting Hitler – A Holocaust Story" is part of the current suggested materials. The text about President Bush is not suggested as part of the current year’s curriculum, but was included last year in a separate unit. The teacher deeply regrets this mistake, and any suggestion to malign the presidency or make any comparison in this egregious way.
“The teacher admits to extremely poor judgment and short sightedness and will apologize to students. The school will also send a letter home to families explaining the incident and offering to address any additional questions should they arise.”