A fifth-grade teacher in a New Jersey public school has resigned after her 11-year-old student handed in an assignment praising Hitler, the New York Post reported.
The Maugham Elementary School teacher, who has not been publicly identified, agreed to resign after condemnation by parents and staff. The teacher had already been placed on a paid leave of absence.
Parents had called on the teacher to be fired, saying the teacher failed as an educator by allowing the student to write such an assignment, especially in a time of heightened anti-Semitism.
Superintendent Shauna DeMarco said that the “curriculum and learning standards were not appropriately implemented,” and the student received “misguided instruction from the teacher.”
“This has had a devastating impact on the student involved and their family, who have been thrown into turmoil through no fault of their own,” DeMarco continued. “It has also been incredibly painful for our Jewish community members in the face of increasing instances of antisemitism around the country.”
The student’s report admiringly noted Hitler’s unification of Germany and Austria, writing “[Hitler] was very popular” and “[Hitler] was pretty great.” The 11-year-old girl even came to school dressed as the murderous dictator, and her essay was displayed for weeks.
People involved said she dressed up at the instruction of her teacher.
The Tenafly Board of Education voted to reinstate Principal Jennifer Ferrara, who had also been placed on leave. In a statement, Ferrara said, “I take full responsibility and I’m eternally sorry. This experience has taught me to think more broadly about the consequences of every decision that I make.”