A schoolgirl’s class assignment has sparked outrage after she reportedly came in dressed as Adolf Hitler and wrote ‘I was pretty great.’
An image of the essay was hung on the walls of a school in New Jersey for weeks, leading to anger within the community.
Responding to the furore the school said in a statement that the assignment had been ‘taken out of context’ and when others saw the pupil’s work they ‘didn’t understand’ it.
The class assignment was given to a group of school children in Maugham Elementary School in Tenafly, New Jersey.
One pupil was said to have delivered her work on the German mass murderer and dressed as the infamous Nazi to deliver her assignment.
The woman said the student had also dressed as the Nazi dictator while delivering the ‘character development project’ to the class.
In the essay, which detailed Hitler’s rise to power, the unnamed pupil said: “My greatest accomplishment was uniting a great mass of German and Austrian people behind me.
“I was pretty great wasn’t I?” the essay read, ‘”I was very popular and many people followed me until I died. My belif [sic] in antisemitism drove me to kill more than 6 million Jews.”
The social media post sparked a series of furious comments about the essay and the teacher who had assigned it.
While the post appears to have now been deleted the New York Post has reported a number of angry commentators leaving their own remarks.
“This is one of the most f’d up things I have ever seen,” one said on the original post.
Another person said: “How is this possible in one of the most Israeli towns in the country. I am disgusted.”
A third commenter said, “I’m in shock, this is terrible.”
In a statement superintendent Shauna DeMarco at Tenafly Public Schools said the school appreciates the concerns and also ‘condemn antisemitism, racism, and bias of any kind.’
She said: “Unfortunately, this assignment has been taken out of context, resulting in understandable anger and concern.
“The assignment (which was given by a teacher who happens to be Jewish) asked students to speak from the perspective of one of these individuals and how they might have perceived and rationalized their actions.
“When people saw the students’ projects, which were displayed in the school, they did not understand the assignment, resulting in justifiable concerns.
“Given that the lesson was specifically issued within the context of social justice, it is unfair to judge any student or teacher in this matter.
“Tenafly Public Schools condemn antisemitism, racism, and bias of any kind. We hope that after reviewing these facts you will join with us to help our community begin the healing process.”