Fifth-graders at Maugham Elementary School in Tenafly, N.J., were tasked to write about the accomplishments of notable people and to dress up as their selected person.
One student chose Jim Carrey, while others wrote about Neil Armstrong and Amelia Earhart. Another child picked Adolf Hitler.
“I was pretty great wasn’t I?” the student wrote in pencil, using Hitler’s voice and highlighting his rise to power. “I was very popular and many people followed me until I died. My [belief] in antisemitism drove me to kill more than 6 million Jews.”
That essay hung on school walls among others in April, according to Lori Birk, an Englewood mother who on Sunday posted the image of the essay on her Facebook page.
Parents and community members in Bergen County, outside New York City, have called and written school officials, demanding answers and accountability. In response, Tenafly Public Schools began an investigation Friday evening, according to Christine Corliss, communications manager for the school district.
“Today, Superintendent [Shauna] DeMarco along with other administrators and the Board of Education are dedicating their time to receiving a report of the full details related to the matter giving rise to the controversy,” she told The Washington Post. “Based on the results of investigation, appropriate action will be taken.”
Corliss told The Post that the investigation will be concluded as swiftly as possible.
The essay comes at a time when the United States is seeing an uptick in antisemitic violence and reports of vandalism at synagogues linked to the conflict between Israel and Hamas, The Post has reported.
A child writing about Hitler hurts the still-healing wounds of Jewish people who are coping with the rise in targeted violence in the United States and abroad, said Jason Shames, chief executive for the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey.
Read the complete article at: The Washington Post