The website, Kids’ Zone by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), featured the quote “Our attitude towards ourselves should be ‘to be satiable in learning’ and towards others ‘to be tireless in teaching.”
After a slew of backlash mostly from conservatives, the website replaced the quote with one from Abraham Lincoln’s first political announcement. Then the quote was removed completely with a peculiar message reading, “Sorry there is no quote of the of day today.”
Red State, a conservative blog, took to Twitter to point out that “Mao Zedong murdered 65 million people.” The Weekly Standard, a popular conservative magazine, also ripped the federal agency.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, issued a statement saying, “As our society rightly does with Hitler, murderous tyrants like Stalin and Mao should be considered pariahs, their victims should be remembered, and their crimes should be taught to future generations so they never happen again.”
NCES collects education data under the Department of Education. The Kids’ Zone website offers statistics to kids, along with trivia and games, The Daily Mail reports.
Dennis Briscoe, the press secretary for the Department of Education, offered an apology Friday evening for the “poorly chosen quote,” which was intended “to highlight the importance of teaching and learning.”
He said the database of quotes was last updated in 2007 and has been “temporarily suspended pending a review.”