NJ community outraged over fifth-grade student’s controversial Hitler project

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A New Jersey community is up in arms after a fifth-grade student’s controversial report on Hitler hung in the elementary school’s hallway for weeks, according to a report and social media posts.

The project, written in Hitler’s voice, appeared at Maugham Elementary School in Tenafly, NorthJersey.com reported, citing a Facebook post from a local parent Lori Birk.

“My greatest accomplishment was uniting a great mass of German and Austrian people behind me,” the bio read.

“I was pretty great, wasn’t I? I was very popular and many people followed me until I died,” it continued.

The student who completed the Hitler bio also dressed as the Nazi leader as part of the assignment, the report said.

Birk told the news site that the report was in the hallway for at least two weeks beginning in April.

Tenafly Public Schools Superintendent Shauna DeMarco said the assignment was taken out of context.
Tenafly Public Schools Superintendent Shauna DeMarco said the assignment was taken out of context.
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Community members were furious at the report.

“This is one of the most f’d up things I have ever seen,” one person commented on Birk’s 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 Tuesday statement, Tenafly Public Schools Superintendent Shauna DeMarco said the project came from an “assignment on social norms and historical figures who personify good and evil.”

DeMarco said the assignment has been taken out of context.

“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,” the superintendent wrote.

“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,” DeMarco added.

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