Education, Politics

Outcry builds after Loch Raven High uses Trump image next to Nazi symbols in AP classroom

PARKVILLE, MD—Public outcry is building after students at Loch Raven High School were shown a classroom slide presenting President Donald Trump next to Nazi and communist symbols.

A slide in an AP History class at the school showed President Trump alongside pictures of a Nazi swastika and hammer-and-sickle, which is frequently used to depict communism.

The text “wants to round up a group of people and build a giant wall” was shown in the image, along with “been there” and “done that.”

Written beside the images are the words: “Oh, that is why it sounds so familiar.”

Now, lawmakers are speaking out.

“This propaganda was used in an AP history class at Loch Raven High,” said Del. Kathy Szeliga on Facebook. “Educational malfeasance of the highest degree. What is going on in our…(Baltimore County) Public Schools????”

Baltimore County Councilman Wade Kach called it “a piece of propaganda” that didn’t belong in a classroom, according to The Baltimore Sun. “To even imply that our president is in any way a Nazi or a communist is outrageous,” said Kach.

“I’m concerned that, like with so many issues, we will just get the standard response that this latest controversy is ‘being handled’ by BCPS and never know the true outcome,” said Councilman David Marks on Saturday. “Let’s cut to the chase – no classroom should just cavalierly intersperse Nazism with and political leader, and I would be saying that (if) it were a Democratic or Republican President.”

Parents are questioning whether the slide was part of a history lesson or if the teacher was spreading political ideology, according to FOX 45.

Baltimore County Public Schools officials have issued the following statement regarding Wednesday’s classroom incident:

“The slide was used as part of a lesson in an Advanced Placement (AP) History course. Standards for Advanced Placement curricula are written and approved by the College Board. Baltimore County Public Schools provides a scope and sequence, framework, and suggested resources to meet the expectation of the standards.

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“The referenced slide was not part of those resources. The topics being discussed in the class included World Wars and the attempts by some leaders throughout history to limit or prevent migration into certain countries. In isolation and out of context with the lesson, the image could be misunderstood.

“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.

“This issue now also includes a personnel matter, which will be appropriately addressed by the school administration and is not subject to further clarification.”

BCPS Board Member Julie Henn posted the following statement on Friday evening:

Earlier this week, the Board learned of a parent complaint regarding a slide used in an AP History course at Loch Raven High School.

Board members requested additional information. Today I asked that the content in question be discussed at an open meeting of the Board’s Curriculum Committee, so that community concerns could be addressed publicly.

Following my request, the Board was informed that “This issue now also includes a personnel matter, which will be appropriately addressed by the school administration and is not subject to further clarification.”

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