WASHINGTON, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- A Washington, D.C. public school teacher promised to apologize after asking her students to compare a recent lesson on Adolf Hitler with the presidency of George W. Bush.
Sixth grade students at McKinley Middle School were given a homework assignment that presented them with a Venn diagram. Above the left half, it simply read "Hitler" and above the right, "George W. Bush."
"Now that we have read about two men of power who abused their power in various ways," the assignment begins, "we will compare and contrast them and their actions."
"Please refer to your texts, 'Fighting Hitler -- A Holocaust Story' and 'Bush: Iraq War Justified Despite No WMD" to compare and and contrast former President George W. Gush and Hitler. We Will use this in class tomorrow for an activity!"
At least one parent objected, feeling the assignment presented an opinionated political perspective, not an objective study of history.
"The teacher admits to extremely poor judgment and short sightedness and will apologize to students" D.C. public schools said in a statement, adding, "the school will also send a letter home to families explaining the incident and offering to address any additional questions should they arise."
"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."