US teachers put positive spin on Hitler, ask students to draw swastikas

A Connecticut middle school teacher asked students to draw a swastika on their notebooks and list the positive things Hitler did for Germany.

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

Recently, US teachers putting a positive spin on Hitler during their social studies classes have troubled students and teachers, particularly against the backdrop of antisemitism in America.

In Darien, Connecticut, a veteran middle school social studies teacher shared a baby picture of Hitler and called it “cute.”

In addition, he asked students to draw a swastika on their notebooks and list the positive things Hitler did for Germany.

The administration is investigating the incident, which occurred at Middlesex Middle School. The teacher has been suspended.

Although the teacher didn’t follow up his lesson by expressing pro-Nazi sentiments, the exercise made many of the students uncomfortable.

“Maintaining a safe school environment free from antisemitism and other forms of hate is our top priority in the Darien Public Schools,” Superintendent Alan Addley wrote in an email to parents.

The incident is currently under investigation and, although he wouldn’t mention additional details, Addley said “the allegations are serious.”

Diane Sloyer, CEO of the United Jewish Federation of Stamford Connecticut said, “If this teacher did, in fact, do what has been said, I think anybody who understands history would find it appalling and call for (their) immediate dismissal from the school system.”

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“So we’re watching closely, and I am confident that Darien schools will do the right thing,” she said.

Similarly, in a private school outside of Atlanta, a teacher was criticized after asking students to describe Hitler as a “solution seeker” and an “ethical decision maker.”

Eighth-grade students at the Mount Vernon School in Atlanta were asked to rate Hitler as a leader with questions such as, “According to the Mount Vernon Mindset rubric, how would you rate Adolf Hitler as a ‘solution seeker’?”

A second question asked how students would “rate Adolf Hitler as an ethical decision-maker?”

Many students and parents were troubled by the questions, with others dismissing the severity of the incident.

One student commented, “Obviously, that looks horrible in the current context … Knowing Mount Vernon, we do things a little odd around here.”

The student added that Mount Vernon often “tries to think outside the box” but that “oftentimes that doesn’t work.”