After an image of a poster comparing Republicans to Nazis in a Nebraska high school went viral, the local superintendent issued a statement claiming the poster was “intended to develop students’ ability to distinguish reliable viewpoints from unreliable viewpoints.” But in a video posted to Twitter by Jack Posobiec, the teacher involved seems to be telling students that the message on the poster is “the truth.”
The poster in question claims that “Americans are 20 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than people in other developed countries.” Below that claim were lists comparing Republicans to Nazis with “Any Questions?” and “The truth hurts” written below.
According to reports, the controversial flyer was brought in by a student as a discussion item on gun violence.
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Superintendent Shawn Scott’s statement read:
In the last two days, an English teacher at Adams Central has been preparing students for a pre-ACT writing prompt. In the course of these discussions, students were to write a persuasive essay, including a counter argument. The counter argument, necessary for a good persuasive essay, requires that we listen to and read about other people’s opinions. Sometimes this can be introduced on the internet or by another person, which does not always mean it is factual.
During this time, students were allowed to bring in outside material as examples and discussion items of how “fake news” can be taken out of context. This led to many discussions about what is real or not, and what is opinion and what is factual. The bottom line is: Do you or should you believe everything you read….what is the source of the information? Is it reliable? If you see something and you want to say something, feel free to do so. In fact, you should do so. Students were to further research the information which goes along with the writing prompt and decide for themselves what to believe and to be able to defend their beliefs with evidence, statistics, and anecdotes.
As part of the lesson, a student brought in a flyer about gun violence. The flyer depicted ways in which the Republican Party is supposedly similar to the Nazi Party. The flyer was posted in the classroom for students to apply critical analysis using the ACT rubric. Meaning, students were to assess whether the message in the flyer was reliable or “fake news.”
Unfortunately, commentators on social media have jumped to the conclusion that the teacher and the school district agree with the flyer’s message. That is false. The lesson was intended to develop students’ ability to distinguish reliable viewpoints from unreliable viewpoints. Based on some of the comments we have received, it appears this is a skill worth developing.
But a video posted by Jack Posobiec would seem to suggest that the teacher in question agrees with the message.
According to the Gateway Pundit’s Cassandra Fairbanks, the video “was sent to Posobiec by a concerned parent who argued that in the footage you can clearly see the teacher defending the positions on the poster.”
“It’s the truth,” the teacher can be heard telling students in a heated back-and-forth, although the entire exchange is somewhat difficult to hear over the laughter of another student, and it’s remotely possible the teacher was referring to the ownership of the poster.
“It was used as a writing prompt, but the teacher was definitely supportive of using it, regardless of who brought it in,” Posobiec told the Gateway Pundit, according to Fairbanks’ report. “So, apparently the new standard is that teaching kids that Republicans are Nazis is acceptable for the classroom.”
In an update, Posobiec said the school’s statement was incorrect, citing a student who reportedly said there was no request or requirement to bring anything to the class.
Something tells me this story isn’t quite finished. We’ll bring updates as they become available.
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