A New Jersey teacher has resigned after assigning an 11-year-old pupil a project in which she hailed Nazi genocidal maniac Adolf Hitler’s “accomplishments,” according to a report.
The unidentified Maugham Elementary School teacher agreed to quit after Tenafly education officials blamed “misguided instruction” for the “offensive and inappropriate” project, the Pascack Valley Daily Voice said.
The female fifth-grader even dressed as Hitler and produced a handwritten essay detailing his apparent “accomplishments” — one displayed for weeks in a hallway along with his photo.
“My greatest accomplishment was uniting a great mass of German and Austrian people behind me,” the bio of the dictator read, saying that “antisemitism drove me to kill more than 6 million Jews.”
“I was pretty great, wasn’t I? I was very popular and many people followed me until I died,” it continued.
The teacher had already been placed on a paid leave of absence, and will be allowed to remain so until next January, the local paper said.
However, the Tenafly Board of Education voted Monday to reinstate Principal Jennifer Ferrara — who had also been on leave — despite her admitting that she “definitely made mistakes that played a role in what happened,” the outlet said.
“For that, I take full responsibility and I’m eternally sorry,” Ferrara said. “This experience has taught me to think more broadly about the consequences of every decision that I make.”
Board members initially dismissed outrage by insisting it was “taken out of context” by parents who “did not understand the assignment.”
However, schools Superintendent Shauna DeMarco later conceded that the “curriculum and learning standards were not appropriately implemented,” with the girl getting “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 wrote in a report, the paper said.
“It has also been incredibly painful for our Jewish community members in the face of increasing instances of antisemitism around the country.”
Rabbi Jordan Millstein told the paper that the “wonderful, bright and sweet” 11-year-old girl “did not know she was doing anything wrong.”
“She just followed the directions that the teacher had given them for the project, which included dressing up as Hitler for her presentation to the class.
“Now she is afraid to go to school as she has heard from her friends that people are saying she did a terrible thing and everyone is angry at her.
“It was the teacher’s and the school’s responsibility. They put [her] in a terrible situation.”