Virginia Middle School Assignment: Do Oppo Research on GOP Presidential Candidates

And find out how to send the information to the Obama campaign. Seriously.

The 8th grade students, who attend Liberty Middle School in Fairfax County, were required to seek out the vulnerabilities of Republican presidential hopefuls and forward them to the Obama campaign.

“This assignment was just creepy beyond belief — like something out of East Germany during the Cold War,” one frustrated father, who asked for his family to remain anonymous, told The Daily Caller.

The assignment was for students to research the backgrounds and positions of each of the GOP candidates for president and find “weaknesses” in them, the parent explained. From there, students were to prepare a strategy paper to exploit those weaknesses and then to send their suggestions to the Obama campaign.


The teacher, Michael Denman, did not assign any students to do oppo research on Obama, or any other Democrat. So the assignment was politically biased on its face. He divided the kids up into four groups and assigned each one to look into one of the Republican candidates.

Apparently the assignment wasn’t blatantly biased enough: Fairfax County schools are defending it, and the teacher still has a job, even though the assignment violates district policy:

A district policy, which addresses employee political activities, states “employees shall not involve their schools in political campaigns, distribute political literature on school property or attempt to indoctrinate students with their personal political beliefs.”

This could have been accomplished without bias or embarrassing the school, by using presidential candidates from the past or even from as recently as the 2010 mid-terms, and by including candidates from both parties. The best that can be said about the way Denman handled it is that he’s grossly incompetent.



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