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School teacher in hot water after asking students to report their neighbors in lesson on Stalinism


A school teacher in Chelyabinsk is in hot water this week, after he tweeted about a particularly bold lesson he conducted in a class about Stalinism.

The teacher, Alexander Fokin, has taken criticism from both sides of Russian politics: liberals accuse him of teaching children to write denunciations against their neighbors, and pro-Kremlin conservatives say Fokin is desecrating Russian history. Online, several people have worried Fokin simply abused his students’ trust in their teacher, all for the sake of a questionable “pedagogical experiment.”

Fokin, who also practices standup comedy, told the news website that he wanted his students to “feel the language of the [Stalinist] era, and understand the role the population played in the Stalinist repressions.”

Responding to the controversy surrounding his lesson, Fokin wrote with disappointment on Twitter, “200 retweets and absolute garbage in the comments. Stalin, it turns out, is more alive than anyone in our hearts, in our minds, and in our veins.”