Parents upset after 8th graders asked to rate Adolf Hitler’s attributes at metro Atlanta school

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — A local private school is responding to complaints about a controversial assignment involving Adolf Hitler.

The assignment asked eighth graders at the Mount Vernon School to rate Hitler’s attributes.

Channel 2′s Bryan Mims was at the Sandy Springs school on Friday, where school leaders said they were initially not aware of the curriculum.

The head of the school said a screenshot of one portion of the assignment was taken out of context.

One question asked: “How would you rate Adolf Hitler as a solution seeker?” Another question: “How would you rate Adolf Hitler as an ethical decision maker?”

Kristy Lundstrom, the head of the school, sent a letter to parents saying the school “does not condone positive labels for Adolf Hitler.” She acknowledged that the assignment had caused “concern and distress.”

“The intent of the assignment was an exploration of World War II designed to boost student knowledge of factual events and understand the manipulation of fear leveraged by Adolf Hitler in connection to the Treaty of Versailles. When leadership was made aware of how the assignment was written, it was removed from the curriculum,” Lundstrom wrote.

She went on to write that the Mount Vernon School “wholeheartedly denounces antisemitism.”

People near the school found the wording of the questions troubling.

“It sounded like a desirable attribute belongs to Adolf Hitler, and I don’t think he has any,” one woman said.

Another person said the assignment was unethical.

“I think it’s a little ridiculous that they’re asking these kinds of questions,” one man said. “Hitler, I’m Jewish, and he eradicated a lot of my family. People we knew.”

The head of the school said she met with the school’s chief of inclusion, diversity, equity and action, and with a concerned rabbi about the impact of the assignment.

She said Hitler, and the events of that time period, are “difficult and traumatic to discuss.”

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