Some parents feel a teacher missed the mark when students were sent home with an assignment asking them to debate whether President Trump is a fascist.
The principal at Haverhill High School in Massachusetts sent an apology out after history teacher Shaun Ashworth asked students to debate the political topic.
The controversial assignment was titled “Some People Claim that Donald Trump is a Fascist: Time to check it out!”
“I support the president,” Dave Prescott, a parent, told Boston news station WBZ. “I support a lot of the things he does. And for them to talk about fascism in regard to the president, I just think this isn’t what I’m sending my kids to school for.”
“If you want to talk about an issue, fine, but don’t bring politics into it,” Prescott said.
Boston news station WFXT reported that one parent was upset with the assignment, taking to Facebook to air a complaint. “I have an older child that had the same teacher a couple of years ago. He did not receive the assignment: Why or why not is Barack Obama a fascist?” the post read.
However, there were students and parents who expressed support for the teacher.
“As a student, I can affirm that Mr. Ashworth teaches each and every one of his students to think for themselves and to think deeply,” Angelina Parolisi said at a school committee meeting on Thursday, per WFXT.
“I see an assignment that asks tough questions and encourages children to think for themselves,” parent Helen Zbitnoff said at the meeting.
In his letter, Principal Glenn Burns told parents “we will continue to provide our scholars [with] opportunities to debate and engage in controversial topics because this is at the heart of how positive change and innovation happens.
“We will take better notice of the development and delivery of lessons to make sure that the outcomes of the assignment are not skewed by the prompts of the lesson.”
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