Parents in a Chicago suburb are furious and have a whole lot of questions after their kids brought home a homework assignment that called “If You Give Hitler a Country.” The assignment told the students to “create a comic strip for little kids that exemplifies Europe’s appeasement towards Hitler.”
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At Woodland Middle School, 8th grader Michael Masterton told WGN “everyone in the class was given the paper and it tells you all the requirements.” His mother, Kelly, was a bit more taken aback by the homework, telling the Chicago station, “I asked him ‘did you ask the teacher if you could use these images?’ and he said yes … I’m not sure what the appropriate manner is to use a swastika.” The concerned mother posted the image to her Facebook page and said that “[I] don’t think [the teacher] did it to be anti-Semitic. I think she was trying to teach that there was propaganda … it did not come through that way.”
On the handout, a cartoon character is shown wearing a Nazi uniform and sporting a Hitler mustache while giving a Nazi salute. Michael told NBC Chicago that he asked for an alternative assignment, saying “some kids were being a bit immature and trying to make this assignment a little bit funny and it’s disgusting.”
School board president Carla Little apologized in a statement and said the assignment was aimed at teaching students about the appeasement negotiations between the Nazis and rivaling countries and the events leading up to World War II. Kelly said that she’s not satisfied with the schools explanation and that she wants to know “that they’re not going to go ahead and give more assignments and make light of it.”
This isn’t the first time that we’ve seen teachers and schools catch heat after Nazi imagery has found the way into their hallways — in September, a substitute was fired after she taught 3rd graders a Nazi salute.