D.C. Sixth-Grade Teacher Has Students Compare Hitler, Bush | NBC4 Washington

D.C. Sixth-Grade Teacher Has Students Compare Hitler, Bush

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    A D.C. sixth-grade teacher will apologize for an assignment that asked students to draw comparisons between former President George W. Bush and Adolf Hitler. News4's Derrick Ward reports. (Published Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014)

    A D.C. sixth-grade teacher will apologize for an assignment that asked students to draw comparisons between former President George W. Bush and Adolf Hitler.

    The McKinley Middle School teacher sent students home with a Venn diagram and asked them to compare and contrast Bush and Hitler.

    At least one parent found it troubling on a number of levels. He told News4 he sees a certain lack of respect for the office of the president. And the instructions read "both men who abused their powers," which the parent said presents opinion as fact.

    D.C. Public Schools released a statement late Wednesday saying the teacher has admitted poor judgment and will apologize to students.

    The statement explained the students are in a War and Peace unit in which they consider “when conflict is warranted.”

    A letter sent to McKinley parents Thursday said the school would talk to students in the class about why a different assignment would have been more appropriate.

    "The District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) curriculum and guidance documents for teachers do not include what was suggested in this assignment," the letter reads.

    The complete DCPS statement:

    “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.”