Discussion: School District Revises Assignment Questioning Whether Holocaust Was 'Actual Event'

Discussion for article #222456

The guy issued the death threats because he didnt like ‘teaching the controversy’ being described as ‘propaganda.’

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The San Bernardino paper was a bit more in-depth in the coverage, including this little snippet:

“On Friday, the Los Angeles-based Anti-Defamation League was critical of the April argumentative writing research project and expressed its concerns to Rialto Unified’s interim superintendent, Mohammad Z. Islam.”

Shades of the Birmingham Schools “Trojan Horse” scandal in the UK?

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So, until you get caught, it’s ok to speculate as to whether the Holocaust happened? Why would anyone even begin to think that this is something to “speculate” on? The only reason that comes to my mind is overt anti-Semitism on an institutional level.

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“Originally, Jafri had defended the assignment to [distort irrefutable facts into a hoax] as an exercise in ‘developing critical thinking skills’…”

Fox should steal that line for all of its broadcasts.

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It was not “the district” who created the assignment but an individual or perhaps several who created the assignment. Who were these ignorant “educators”, or perhaps they thought it would just be thought provoking to have young teenagers question what historians and survivors have confirmed happened? Thus is born Holocaust deniers.

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How about an assignment on whether Jesus ever existed … citing historical evidence.

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Holocaust denial is politically odious, but the idea of getting students to think about the level of craziness that is out there is not a bad one. I tend to side with teachers pushing students to think innovatively, so I would support this one.

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I do like the idea of teaching kids to think creatively by making them argue an indefensible position. It’s a good idea, but there are a couple of places you just shouldn’t go. Don’t have kids debate whether the holocaust happened and don’t have them debate the merits of slavery. Doing so rarely ever ends well.

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Dare I say that whomever came up with this assignment has neo-nazi tendencies? He/she/them should be quickly identified and fired on the spot.

I would be curious to see what actually happens when high school students debate these issues before I would agree that they don’t end well.

Indeed. That individual is hiding and won’t even get a slap on the hand for this. Disgusting.

Correct, stick to debating stuff like the spoils system.

Absent further evidence, that seems an unwarranted assumption.

Eighth graders.

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Thanks for providing context.

Why not have them debate whether the earth is flat?

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That is FOX’s standard action.

If the assignment had been to discuss and compare the Holocaust vs. those who don’t believe it happened, then I would agree. But this doesn’t sound like that was what happened.

I lived in Rialto from 1964 to 1970, and went to school from 4th to early 10th grades. This controversy does not surprise me. While there were some fantastic teachers there, many were mediocre at best. The town was mostly just a bedroom community, with everybody working in Berdoo or Colton or Ontario; the school district didn’t have a lot of money. And they hired both teachers and administrators accordingly. I can easily see some clueless doofus not thinking through the ramifications of the question.

This is the second time in a year that the Rialto school district has gotten unwanted attention; back in October, one of the accountants was caught embezzling collected lunch money.