California students told to write essay explaining that the Holocaust was a lie

Eighth grade students at a California public school were given an essay assignment last week to create a credible argument that the Holocaust never happened.

“Whatever (the district’s) motivation, it ends up elevating hate and history to the same level,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, told Monday. “We should train our kids to have critical thinking, but the problem here is the teacher confused teaching critical thinking with common sense, because common sense dictates you don’t comingle propaganda with common truth.”

Students were told to “read and discuss multiple, credible articles on the issue, and write an argumentative essay, based upon cited textual evidence, in which you explain whether or not you believe this was an actual event in history, or merely a political scheme created to influence public emotion and gain wealth.”

Middle school students in the Rialto Unified School District in southern California were instructed to use propaganda supplied by the teacher, to argue their point, according to the leaked document.

“It was an error,” district spokeswoman Syeda Jafri told the Associated Press Monday.

The assignment resulted in heavy criticism, including one death threat that brought two police officers to the school Monday as a safety precaution.

The school’s interim superintendent, Mohammad Z. Islam, has said the incident will result in changes to educational curriculum and the administering of appropriate homework and has assured district parents and students “that any reference to Holocaust ‘not occurring’ will be stricken on any current or future argumentative research assignments.”

According to the district’s statement: “The Holocaust is and should be taught in classrooms with sensitivity and profound consideration to the victims who endured the atrocities committed. We believe in the words of George Santayana, ‘Those who cannot learn from history are bound to repeat it.’”

The Holocaust was an eight-year genocide in which Nazi Germany exterminated 11 million people, six million of which were Jewish-affiliated.


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