Did the Holocaust really happen or was it “a propaganda tool used for political or monetary gain?” In a Southern California district, Rialto Unified, eighth graders were told to use three sources — including one that calls the murder of Jews a “hoax” — to research the “debate.” Then they were to write an essay, citing their research, to “explain whether or not you believe the Holocaust was an actual event in history, or merely a political scheme created to influence public emotion and gain.”
Their own conclusion? “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts,” said Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
After more furor, the district said teachers would revise the assignment.
Teachers, who were doing a unit on the Diary of Anne Frank, came up with the Holocaust debate idea, no doubt thinking it would meet Common Core standards’ call for argumentative writing. (Anne Frank also is a hoax, according to the assigned denial site.) They’ll think of something else.
It’s just a coincidence — really — that the primarily Latino district is run by an interim superintendent named Mohammad Z. Islam.