Are Holocaust denial groups now being supported by the Common Core educational standards? As part of an assignment related to “critical learning skills,” one California school asked students to question whether the Jews were persecuted by Nazi Germany during World War Two.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, the recent Holocaust remembrance day had childhood survivors telling their stories and asking people to never forget what really happened. The oldest known Holocaust survivor also died back in February, but the music she played in concentration camps lives on in memories.
The homework assignment that asked students to support Holocaust denial required them to write an essay where they determined “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.” Students were given three sources to use as references, with all of them calling out a Holocaust hoax, even going so far as to deny that any Jews died in gas chambers. One of the sources even claims the Holocaust is a conspiracy theory designed to get Americans to support Israel:
“With all this money at stake for Israel, it is easy to comprehend why this Holocaust hoax is so secretly guarded. In whatever way you can, please help shatter this profitable myth. It is time we stop sacrificing America’s welfare for the sake of Israel and spend our hard-earned dollars on Americans.”
The Jewish Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in Los Angeles sent an email to the school condemning the Holocaust denial assignment:
“It is ADL’s general position that an exercise asking students to question whether the Holocaust happened has no academic value; it only gives legitimacy to the hateful and anti-Semitic promoters of Holocaust Denial.”
According to school board member Joe Martinez, the assignment was not created as part of an agenda, but was instead intended to meet the standards set by Common Core:
“The Common Core state standards, which have been adopted by most states and the District of Columbia, emphasize critical thinking in students, which is what the assignment is intended to teach.”
The good news is that the ADL agrees there was not a “larger, insidious, agenda,” but others like Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, said they should have found another subject other than Holocaust denial conspiracy theories:
“Whatever (the district’s) motivation, it ends up elevating hate and history to the same level. 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 commingle propaganda with common truth.”
Do you think Holocaust denial conspiracy theories were an appropriate subject for learning critical thinking skills?