Turning Holocaust Denial into Homework

(Wall Street Journal) Reuven H. Taff - 2,000 eighth-graders at five middle schools in the Rialto Unified School District east of Los Angeles were asked to compose an essay on whether or not they believe the Holocaust was "an actual event in history, or merely a political scheme." As part of the homework, educators gave students resources including a website that denies the Holocaust. In response, Deborah Lipstadt, a professor at Emory University and expert on the Holocaust, said that, "At best, the teachers and so-called educators who took part in writing this question have been duped into thinking that there is a legitimate debate about whether the Holocaust happened. At worst, they knew better and looked the other way." Critical thinking is an essential skill for children to develop. But when educators encourage students to question the historical fact of the Holocaust, they are essentially fomenting a subtle form of anti-Semitism. It may not be their intention, but it is certainly the result. The writer is the rabbi of Mosaic Law Congregation in Sacramento.

2014-05-27 00:00:00

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