Controversy over student’s assignment to attack GOP campaigns

John Aaron,

WASHINGTON – Fairfax County’s schools are getting national attention after a teacher had his students perform opposition research against Republican presidential candidates.

In a Civics honors class at Liberty Middle School, some students were instructed to write papers about each of the Republican candidates’ weaknesses and to come up with attack strategies. Others were told to locate an office inside the Obama campaign to send the information to.

According to John Torre, spokesman for Fairfax County Schools, “the assignment itself was intended to teach students about the research process that a campaign committee goes through prior to an election,” and students were never told to actually send the information out.

“No one was instructed to do that, and to my knowledge, no one did,” he says.

An angry parent alerted The Daily Caller to the assignment. The story was then picked up by other national media outlets.

The response “has gone way beyond the [school] district in terms of the comments that we have received,” Torre says.

He says the teacher has been advised to present the assignment “in a more balanced way” if it is done again in the future, and to “emphasize the assignment is about process and not picking sides.”

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