High School Assignment To ‘Defend’ Holocaust Yanked Amid Outcry
(JTA) — A homework assignment asking students in an upstate New York school district to argue for or against the Final Solution from the perspective of a Nazi official was withdrawn and will never be assigned again.
High school students in an advanced class in Oswego County were assigned a project to pretend they were members of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party in order to argue for or against the Holocaust’s Final Solution.
“This is an exercise on expanding your point of view by going outside your comfort zone,” according to the directions of the assignment.
Two students, Archer Shurtliff and Jordan April, complained and called for the teacher to apologize and for the school district to permanently ban the assignment, Syracuse.com reported. Neither of the students, both 17, is Jewish.
On Monday, New York State Education Department Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said the assignment has been permanently banned.
Evan Bernstein, the Anti-Defamation League’s New York regional director, praised the district and Elia after saying in a statement that “There is no assignment that could ever be given to students that even hints at a balanced perspective to the horrors of Nazi actions during the Holocaust …”