On his radio show today, Dennis Prager called this assignment “scary” and the solution (required sensitivity training) “frightening.”
Dennis noted that the principal (Mohammad Z. Islam) is Muslim and that Holocaust denial is rampant in the Muslim world.
Dennis: “The issue is not sensitivity. The issue is truth.”
Deborah Lipstadt writes: “The Rialto school district says it plans to respond by offering sensitivity training and even quoted George Santayana: “Those who cannot learn from history are bound to repeat it.” But these teachers don’t need sensitivity training. Sensitivity is not what was missing here. These teachers were not “insensitive” to the victims of the Shoah or to Jews. They were just wrong. Critical thinking and a basic understanding of what happened in Europe 70 years ago are clearly in very short supply throughout the ranks of teachers and administrators involved in this fiasco. What they really need are history lessons.”
Rabbi Eliyahu Fink wrote on Facebook:
Surely, you heard about the critical thinking assignment asking students to write a paper arguing that the Holocaust took place or denying it took place. The assignment itself establishes that its position that there was a Holocaust.
The ADL emailed the school about this Holocaust assignment, the school revised it, and that should be the end of the story. In their own words: “ADL does not have any evidence that the assignment was given as part of a larger, insidious, agenda. Rather, the district seems to have given the assignment with an intent, although misguided, to meet Common Core standards relating to critical learning skills.”
But let’s commence the thought-pieces and handwringing anyway.
Daniel Oppenheimer: Maybe the next assignment should be drawing a picture of Muhammed and an essay exploring both sides of the arguments for why he was or wasn’t a pedophile.