US teacher resigns after student dresses as Adolf Hitler, presents assignment on dictator's 'achievements'

The assignment celebrated Hitler's "achievements".
The assignment celebrated Hitler's "achievements". Photo credit: Facebook/ Pascack Valley Daily Voice

A US teacher has resigned after one of their 11-year-old students presented an assignment on the "achievements" of Adolf Hitler, while dressed up as the dictator.

The unidentified teacher from Maugham Elementary School in New Jersey stood down after local education officials blamed their "misguided instruction" for the assignment, which required students to describe what made their subject famous; provide examples of their 'accomplishments'; outline their impact on the world; and list what was most admired about them.

For her assignment, the student dressed as the Austrian-born German politician, who served as the dictator of Germany from 1933 to 1945 as the leader of the Nazi Party. According to a report by the local paper Pascack Valley Daily Voice, the 11-year-old presented a "character development project" to the class, and wrote an accompanying essay on Hitler's achievements - which hung in the school hallway next to a photograph of the dictator. 

7News reports the school board initially defended the assignment, saying it was shared online without context.

But the school later accepted the teacher's resignation, conceding that"curriculum and learning standards were not appropriately implemented".

Scott Richman, the regional director of the Anti-Defamation League's New York and New Jersey branch, said the assignment was not handled with enough sensitivity. 

"Educational assignments, especially those centred around the history of genocide and oppression, need to be handled carefully."