A teacher at Loch Raven High School in Towson recently used a slide that linked President Donald Trump with Nazi and communist symbols.
Baltimore County lawmakers criticized the slide, which showed a picture of Trump below the words “Wants to round up a group of people and build a giant wall.” Below that is a Nazi swastika with the words “Been there” and a Communist hammer, sickle, and star symbol with the text “Done that.”
To the left of these images, the slide read: “Oh, that is why it sounds so familiar.”
The slide was used as part of a lesson on World Wars in an Advanced Placement (AP) History course, according to Charles A. Herndon of Baltimore County Public Schools. The curriculum is written and approved by the College Board. However, this particular slide was not part of those resources.
Del. Kathy Szeliga (R- District 7) sent copies of the slide and school’s response to Baltimore County members of the House of Delegates, according to the Baltimore Sun.
“It is horrific. It is educational malfeasance,” she said to the county’s delegation in Annapolis Feb. 21.
“In isolation and out of context with the lesson, the image could be misunderstood,” the BCPS statement said. “Importantly, the image was not intended to make a political statement but was used in the context of teaching skills needed for analysis, discussion, and media literacy. In our AP classes, which are college level courses, we expect and encourage analysis and discussion around historical and current events, even if they are considered controversial. If a student has concerns when discussing a controversial issue, schools have the tools to address the concern and support the student.”
The Sun reported that Baltimore County Councilman Wade Kach called it “a piece of propoganda” that didn’t belong in a classroom.
One parent, who asked to remain anonymous, told WBFF “I was told that by another student who said the topic in that class was supposedly world leaders shunning other groups out … I said, ‘Is this part of the curriculum?'”
BCPS stated that the issue now also includes a personnel matter, which will be appropriately addressed by the school administration and is not subject to further clarification.
Linda Oliver, a member of the administrative staff at Loch Raven High School, told the JT that all questions must go through the chief of staff of BCPs and declined to comment.