A school in the American state of New Jersey found it had some explaining to do when a fifth-grader decided to a project about Adolf Hitler, which sparked outrage in the local community and on social media.
A Facebook post by a local parent Lori Birk showed the school project by a pupil at Maugham Elementary School in Tenafly. Birk said that the project had been hanging in the corridor for at least two weeks.
The woman also said that the 10-year-old pupil dressed as Hitler while delivering the “Character Development project” to the class.
The assignment, called a "Character Development project" was supposed to be written from the German dictator’s perspective:
“My greatest accomplishment was uniting a great mass of German and Austrian people behind me,” it read.
“I was pretty great, wasn’t I? I was very popular and many people followed me until I died,” it said.
Members of the local community rushed to pour censure on the project, and the school has had to explain the situation.
Superintendent Shauna DeMarco at Tenafly Public Schools said in a statement that the school "condemns antisemitism, racism, and bias of any kind".
"Unfortunately, this assignment has been taken out of context, resulting in understandable anger and concern,” she said.
"The assignment (which was given by a teacher who happens to be Jewish) asked pupils to speak from the perspective of one of these individuals and how they might have perceived and rationalised their actions.”
DeMarco added that it was unfair to judge any pupil or teacher since the lesson was specifically issued within the context of social justice.