NEW YORK, NY – The Anti-Defamation League today (April 3) welcomed the decision by the CiTi BOCES program in Oswego County to remove an inappropriate classroom lesson plan that asked students to write an essay arguing for or against the Nazi perspective on the “Final Solution,” the term used for a plan to eliminate the Jewish people during the Holocaust.
Students came to ADL shortly after the assignment was given, which was presented as a “Memorandum for Senior Nazi Party Members” and expressed deep concern after they felt their concerns were not being addressed by the school.
“There is no assignment that could ever be given to students that even hints at a balanced perspective to the horrors of Nazi actions during the Holocaust and we are pleased that the school district, as well as New York State Education Department Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, ultimately deemed this offensive assignment inappropriate for a classroom setting,” said Evan R. Bernstein, ADL New York Regional Director. “Unfortunately, this is not the first time such a simulation activity on the Holocaust was given to students in New York State. When developing curricula, educators must recognize the detrimental impact of such role playing activities and understand the deep sensitivities surrounding such a topic.”
“The notion that students were asked to engage in such thinking trivializes the horrific experiences of the victims and we are pleased that it will no longer be part of the curriculum,” Bernstein added.
ADL has offered to meet with the educators to share its resources in Holocaust education pedagogy as well as teacher training.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.
Follow on Twitter: @ADL_News