A public school teacher in Georgia thought it was a good idea to ask her sixth-grade students to create Nazi mascots. Now, she’s under investigation.
The homework assignment asked Shiloh Middle School students to pretend it was 1935. The exercise prompted them to envision they “have been tasked with creating a mascot to represent the Nazi party at its political rallies.” The teacher also asked the kids to “create a COLORFUL illustration of the mascot” and give it a name.
If that wasn’t enough, the assignment went on to ask the children to “write an explanation as to why the mascot was chosen to represent the Nazi party.”
When the students went home and showed their parents the homework they had been assigned, many parents thought they were joking.
According to Jamie Brown — the father of one of the 11-year-olds in the class — this assignment was everything but constructive.
He said the homework was “demeaning.”
“I don’t understand it, really to be honest, that we’re actually creating a mascot for an individual that murdered thousands of people,” he said. “I guess I’m the voice for the voiceless, for the kids that can’t question the authority of the teacher, can’t question the legitimacy of the assignment that’s given out.”
In an effort to correct the wrongs committed by this teacher, Brown said, the school should issue a formal apology. Still, he added, he will never trust the school again.
“From this day forward, I will be checking every homework assignment coming home from Shiloh Middle School,” he said.
When asked to comment, Gwinnett County school district spokesperson Sloan Roach said that the homework was handed to students during a Social Studies class and that the material was never approved by the district.
“This assignment is not a part of the approved materials provided by our Social Studies department and is not appropriate and the school is addressing the use of this assignment with the teacher,” Roach explained.
Commenting on this story, Richard president of the NAACP Atlanta chapter, said that he, too, was unaware how this type of assignment could create any positive discussions or messages.
“When you think about a mascot for something, you think it’s a good thing — mascot for your college, mascot for your high school. This is nothing to celebrate,” he added.
Gwinnett County school district officials said they are addressing this case and are investigating the teacher behind the assignment as parents ask officials to reprimand her.
It’s quite shocking that in 2017, this educator thought it was acceptable to frame the racist and divisive philosophies of the Nazi regime in a positive light. But then again, we live in the President Donald Trump era where this type of inflamed rhetoric has become the norm.
Still, this teacher should know better as she appeared to be giving her students an idea that they should be celebrating the Nazis by coming up with mascots. Thankfully, mindful and caring parents were able to catch on to the absurdity of this assignment in time to help prevent similar incidents from happening again.
Banner/Thumbnail Credit: REUTERS, Ralph Orlowski