A Virginia middle school teacher decided to give the Obama campaign a little help by assigning his eighth-grade class the task of digging up dirt on the four Republican candidates seeking their party's nomination.
Michael Denman, who teaches at Liberty Middle School in Fairfax County, divided his class into four groups and told them to find vulnerabilities and negative information about Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul.
"This assignment was just creepy beyond belief – like something out of East Germany during the Cold War," one parent who asked to remain anonymous told The Daily Caller, which first broke the story.
Students were assigned the task of finding "weaknesses" and information that could be used to discredit the GOP presidential candidates. Two students were assigned to write a paper outlining the group's findings, two other students were to construct an attack strategy and two others to locate contacts within the Obama campaign where they could send their findings.
"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," said one student to The Daily Caller. "Mr. Denman didn't tell us where to find the information, just to research on them."
Several parents called the school to protest Denman's assignment, saying that the teacher was too partisan and should have assigned students to research Obama's background as well.
"I was shocked that a school teacher would so blatantly politicize the curriculum of a middle school classroom," the parent, who describes himself as a conservative, said. "I asked [my child] if a similar assignment had been handed out to examine the background and positions of President Obama to see if the teacher was at least being bipartisan."
"Teachers acting in such manner need to be called out," added the frustrated parent.
"I have no personal animosity toward the teacher in question at all, but let's be real. Leave politics out of the classroom. Present a balanced viewpoint, teaching children to listen to all sides and think for themselves."
The school's principal, Dr. Catherine Cipperly, has refused to discuss the incident, but "advised the teacher that he should emphasize to his students that this assignment was meant to learn a process and not to endorse a particular candidate," according to John Torre, a spokesman for the school district.
Neither Denman nor Cipperly would comment on the incident. The Christian Post attempted to contact several members of the school board but received no reply prior to publication.
The Fairfax County School District's policy on political activities says, "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."