Skip to comments.Rialto, CA School District: Holocaust Denial Assignment Prompts Museum of Tolerance Visits
Posted on 05/11/2014 1:31:19 PM PDT by DogByte6RER
RIALTO: Holocaust assignment prompts Museum of Tolerance visits
Eighth-graders in Rialto Unified School District, who were assigned in February to argue whether the Holocaust really happened, now will take a field trip to the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, the school board decided Wednesday evening, May 7.
Board President Joanne T. Gilbert read a joint statement for the board announcing the field trip after a closed-door session.
Earlier, eight speakers protested the assignment that asked eighth-graders to write an essay about whether the Holocaust occurred or if it was merely a political scheme created to influence public emotion and gain wealth. The room was filled to capacity. The overflow crowd watched from a video feed.
One of the three sources students were given was from a website that some speakers called anti-Semitic.
This is worse than ignorance, Rabbi Suzanne Singer said, waving the assignment. My mother was in Auschwitz.
Singer, of Riverside Temple Beth El, told the school board she shared the outrage over the assignment.
I dont understand why a fact of history should have two sides, as opposed to issues about guns or abortion that do have two sides, she said.
The assignment was created by teachers and issued in February through Rialtos Education Services Department to all 2,000 eighth-graders in five middle schools for the first time, Associate Superintendent Susan Levine said.
It was intended to mirror the type of critical thinking and writing assignment that students will have on new online standardized tests that go with Common Core State Standards. Educators hope to implement the standards by the beginning of next school year.
Our vetting process failed, Levine said.
District officials would not say if any disciplinary action was taken, citing personnel confidentiality laws.
Levine said the district will have a new process for vetting assignments. Superintendent Mohammad Z. Islam also will lead sensitivity training for teachers and staff, and all eighth-grade teachers will receive additional sensitivity training at the Museum of Tolerance. The museum features extensive interactive exhibits about the Holocaust and Nazi Germany.
After media published stories about the assignment, Superintendent Islam and communications director Syeda Jafri received death threats.
Rialto police Capt. Randy De Anda said a threatening call was traced to Connecticut, where detectives identified a suspect at 10 a.m. Wednesday.
In an interview with detectives, he admitted to making the phone calls, but did not admit to the specific threats. But, De Anda said, the calls had been recorded.
He said the San Bernardino County district attorney will review the case.
Security for Wednesday nights school board meeting was tight, with multiple armed law enforcement officers at every door, in the lobby of the district office, inside the board room and an overflow room down the hall.
Tressy Capps said a trip to the Museum of Tolerance is needed after the assignment planted a seed of doubt in the minds of the eighth-graders who attend her church in Rialto.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, said after the meeting that he hoped the district would call him to set up the visits to the Museum of Tolerance. The museum is the educational arm of the center.
Mathew Friedman, of the Anti-Defamation League smiled after he heard the announcement that all eighth-graders would visit the museum.
I like the fact that they said they are deeply sorry and accept responsibility, Friedman said.
Monday, the district reversed the decision to ask eighth-grade students to argue whether the Holocaust happened after the Anti-Defamation League and the Simon Wiesenthal Center protested, calling the assignment grotesque.
I wish they would come up with one that says slavery was a bunch of hog wash
Not sure how I feel about this. Seems as if they are blaming the students for this and now the students need to be reeducated. It’s the school board that should be taking the trip.
Or how about a Common Core assignment based on actual historical fact, such as, “Islam was founded by a pedophile who married a girl of 6 years old and began regularly raping her when she reached 9 years old.”
Let’s do some critical thinking on THAT!
Maybe the students could study the Holocaust as "an issue that has two sides," like abortion. Is it okay to kill millions of Jews if you can get away with it, or is it wrong?
“Our vetting process failed, Levine said.
Bullsh**. There was no “vetting process”.
I had to go back and make sure this wasn’t one of the priceless satire “news stories” we occasionally see here.
“Mohammed Z. Islam,” no less.
what exactly do you mean by that?
You can't make this stuff up.
More than halfway down the article, we finally get to the heart of the matter. And it wasn't Common Core per se -- apparently that's just the smokescreen. Somebody better vet the content of that sensitivity training, because it's likely to be just another double-down of the same theme.
How dare you insult the prophet (Pigs be inseminating her)by criticizing the shariaa!
I should report you to Dear Leader and the Justice for Just Us dept for slandering!
Is the principal a Muslim?
Why do the kids have to go to the Museum? It is the Superintendent and staff who are connected to this wickedness that need to make a trip to the museum.
The students have to go to the museum because, if they were in the classroom, the teachers would have to pretend to make an effort to teach them something, and we can’t have that.
“Museum of Tolerance”? Tolerance of what ... Moslem school superintendents who think the Holocaust was made up?
Well, atleast the kids missed that day's lesson on how 9/11 was some kind of jewish conspiracy. /end sarcasm
The end is unclear, but there was no legitimate educational reason for this situation to have arisen in the first place.