Teacher to 6th-graders: Compare Hitler, George W. Bush

A sixth-grade teacher at a Washington, D.C., middle school is in deep water after assigning students to make comparisons between former president George W. Bush and Adolf Hitler in a class project.

According to local media, the educator at McKinley Middle School sent students home with a Venn diagram with instructions to compare and contrast Hitler and Bush, stating that “both men abused their powers.”

The assignment prompted complaints from at least one parent, who said that it showed disrespect for the office of the president, according to WRC-TV.

A copy of the assignment, made by the parent and posted on social media, instructs students to draw examples from two texts they were assigned and to fill in a Venn diagram with similarities and differences between the two men.

“Now that we have read about two men of power who abused their power in various ways, we will compare and contrast them and their actions,” the assignment reads. “Please refer to your texts, ‘Fighting Hitler – A Holocaust Story’ and ‘Bush: Iraq War Justified Despite No WMD’ to compare and contrast former President George W. Bush and Hitler. We will use this in class tomorrow for an activity!”

According to the Washington Times, the parent, who asked the paper not to be named, said he called the school office to complain and was told that the assignment was part of a curriculum unit approved by the school system. He said his sixth-grader’s class had been studying both the Holocaust and the Iraq War.

“I think trying to compare Adolf Hitler to an America president is just not right,” the parent told the paper. “I didn’t agree with Mr. Bush or his policies, but that was over the line.”

A spokeswoman for D.C. Public Schools told the Washington Times that the two readings had been approved but that the texts were not meant to be compared as assigned by the teacher.

“The teacher deeply regrets this mistake, and any suggestion to malign the presidency or make any comparison in this egregious way,” school system spokeswoman Melissa Salmanowitz said.

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