|The Hitler/Bush worksheet|
The assignment, which was not part of any established curriculum, asked students to use a Venn Diagram worksheet (which uses overlapping circles to note similarities between two subjects) and compare the political overreach of both Adolf Hitler and George W. Bush. The assignment was called "Men Who Abused Their Powers."
The instructions for the assignment stated "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. 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!"
It should be noted that the assignment was for an English class, not a history or social studies class.
A parent who asked not to be identified called the school to complain, and told a local TV station that even though they did not agree with Bush's policies, comparing him to Hitler was "over the line" and presenting a teacher's opinion as fact.
A spokesman for DC Public Schools stated "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."
Even though the school district admits it was a huge error, the teacher won't lose their job, and has yet to even be identified. “The teacher admits to extremely poor judgment and short-sightedness and will apologize to students," the spokesman said. "The school will also send a letter home to families explaining the incident and offering to address any additional questions should they arise.”