EDUCATION:: Virginia Middle School Teacher Had Students Do ‘opposition Research’ On GOP Candidates – Fox News
Published March 22, 2012 | FoxNews.com
Students of a middle school in Fairfax County, Virginia, were given an assignment by their teacher to find weaknesses in each of the four GOP campaigns and research how to send the information to the Obama campaign.
A Virginia middle school teacher is under fire after making his students do “opposition research” on Republican presidential candidates, according to a report.
Eighth-graders at Liberty Middle School in Fairfax County were assigned to research the backgrounds and positions of Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul and find any “weaknesses,” according to The Daily Caller.
The students were then required to draft a strategy paper, mapping out how to exploit those weaknesses and then research how to forward it to the Obama campaign.
“This assignment was just creepy beyond belief — like something out of East Germany during the Cold War,” a father of one of the students who asked for anonymity told The Daily Caller.
The teacher, Michael Denman, gave the assignment to his Civics honors class, which he broke up into four groups, with each one assigned a GOP candidate to investigate.
“My classmates don’t actually know a lot, but a few of us tended to agree that the most recent instruction on this project just didn’t seem right,” one of the students told the news website. Mr. Denman didn’t tell us where to find the information, just to research on them.”
John Torre, a spokesman on behalf of the Fairfax County Public School system, told The Daily Caller that students were never instructed to actually send their results to the Obama campaign.
“Instead, the teacher simply asked his students to find out the name of the office that would receive such information,” Torre wrote in an email to the news site.
Torre said the school’s principal discussed the matter with Denman, and told him students should have been given a choice to research candidates from either major party.