A teacher in New Jersey has resigned in the face of backlash after an 11-year-old student based their assignment on Adolf Hitler’s “accomplishments”.
The unidentified teacher at Maugham Elementary School agreed to stand down after local education officials blamed “misguided instruction” for the project which was slammed as “offensive and inappropriate”.
According to the Pascack Valley Daily Voice, the female student dressed as the dictator and presented a “character development project” to her class.
In the assignment, the student detailed Hilter’s rise to power prior to World War II and the Holocaust.
A photograph of the assignment was shared online and slammed.
“This is ignorance, antisemitism and hatred taught at a fifth-grade level,” Lori Birk wrote alongside her post.
“Shame on the parents who helped their child dress as Hitler and the teacher who has approved such hatred.”
The school board initially defended the assignment, saying it was shared online without context.
But the school later accepted the teacher’s resignation, conceding “curriculum and learning standards were not appropriately implemented”.
According to the Daily Voice, the assignment encouraged pupils to describe what made their subject famous, provide examples of their ‘accomplishments’, their impact on the world and what was most admired about them.
The assignment was addressed in a statement from Scott Richman, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League’s New York and New Jersey branch.
“Educational assignments, especially those centred around the history of genocide and oppression, need to be handled carefully and sensitive to those who may be personally impacted,” Richman said.
“We have reached out to local school officials and look forward to offering our support to the school and district to address this situation and build stronger educational practices moving forward.”
– with NBC