A group of parents of students at a Massachusetts high school are furious that kids were handed an assignment that claims that President Donald Trump is a fascist.
The assignment was handed out by Haverhill High School history teacher Shaun Ashworth whose paper reportedly read, “Some People Claim that Donald Trump is a Fascist: Time to check it Out!”
The assignment told students to show “Evidence that Mr. Trump talks/behaves like a Fascist” and “Evidence Mr. Trump does not behave like a Fascist.”
Parents were furious that the teacher put kids in a position to consider Trump a fascist at all, the Eagle Tribune reported.
“I support the president,” parent Dave Prescott told WBZ TC. “I support a lot of the things he does. And for them to talk about fascism, in regards to the president, I just think this isn’t what I’m sending my kids to school for.” He added to the station that, “if you want to bring up an issue, don’t bring politics into it.”
Ultimately, school officials agreed that the assignment was improper.
“If you’re discussing the president, especially when you’re teaching, you should refer to him as President Trump and not Mr. Trump, as was noted in the assignment,” school committee member Maura Ryan-Ciardiello said. “I find that to be disrespectful, and that goes for all presidents.”
Haverhill High principal Glenn Burns agreed that the assignment should not have been used. Burns said “feedback is necessary to bring to our attention that we missed the mark and have created a learning opportunity that skews the thinking of our scholars.”
“Upon reflecting with a team from the History Department on the assignment … it was evident to us that the [title] prompt may have skewed the debate or provided the perception that we were looking for scholars to prove Donald Trump was a fascist,” Burns told parents. “This was not the intention of the assignment and we apologize to those that felt that was the experience we were trying to create. Our team discussed at length how to provide a more balanced prompt that could enrich this topic and discussion.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.