I first found this Pamela Geller story at the warsclerotic blog here.
I am at a loss to explain how Western governments keep making new laws against criticizing Islam but will permit a wide range of hostile and offensive behavior against other groups like Jews and Christians. In this case, I am surprised that any school official would first allow and then defend a bizarre decision like this assignment: to argue the Nazi position for exterminating Jews.
“Forcing children to argue for genocide and annihilation depraved and the very definition of evil.
It’s child abuse. 343314161-Final-Solution-homework-assignment
The evil is compounded by the fact that there is no real diversity of opinion of thought. Can you point to anywhere in academia – where opposition to jihad and sharia is debated and/or encouraged?
There is no discussion, no instruction, no education about the gravest threat to our freedom and Western civilization but exterminating the Jews – yes, let’s talk about that.”
By Pamela Geller – on March 31, 2017
Upstate New York students debate exterminating Jews
By Susan D. Harris, American Thinker, March 30, 2017:
“The New York education commissioner defended a local teacher’s assignment asking students to argue in favor of exterminating Jews. It sounds incomprehensible, but MaryEllen Elia, speaking in Syracuse, N.Y. (Onondaga County) this past Thursday morning, did just that. It seems especially hideous, contemporarily, since that city’s Jewish Community Center has been under lockdown three times this year: twice for bomb threats and most recently for a vaguely described “threat of violence.”
The education commissioner was addressing an assignment given by a teacher in neighboring Oswego County this past February. The teacher, Michael DeNobile, gave the assignment as part of the Oswego County CiTi/BOCES New Vision program. According to local reporter Julie McMahon, the students were asked to “put themselves in a Nazi leaders’ shoes and argue for or against the ‘Final Solution’ to exterminate Jewish people.”
It seems that only two students were disturbed by this request. Jordan April and Archer Shurtliff (neither are Jewish) are both seniors at Oswego County high schools participating in the New Vision program. The program allows students to take college-level classes on the SUNY Oswego campus. April and Shurtliff brought their concerns directly to DeNobile, higher administrators, and even the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). The two girls’ goal was “to make sure no other student would be asked to argue in favor of killing Jews again.” They also asked for the New Vision program to retract the assignment completely. They were unsuccessful. In exchange for their complaints, however, the entire class was given the opportunity to choose their own alternative project. Only three students took advantage of that, including April and Shurtliff.
Education commissioner Elia held strong to her support of the assignment, citing critical thinking as the supposed learning tool, saying, “I think it’s certainly a question where you want students to think on both sides and analyze … which position a person is taking.”
…Dogged local reporter McMahon posted the actual homework assignment on Syracuse’s online news website. Eerily, it was stamped “Top Secret” in red at the top. McMahon writes:
The assignment itself notes that the point is “not for you to be sympathetic to the Nazi point of view[.] … Ultimately, this is an exercise on expanding your point of view by going outside your comfort zone and training your brain to logistically [sic] find the evidence necessary to prove a point, even if it is existentially and philosophically against what you believe,” the assignment says.
…ADL education director Beth Martinez said the whole thing is “deeply troubling,” adding that students should never be given an assignment “that even hints at their [sic] being ‘two sides’ to the ‘Final Solution’ / Holocaust.” Martinez said she was notified by Roseann Bayne, the assistant superintendent for the CiTi program, that the assignment was still being offered along with an alternative.
Martinez cited Common Core as a catalyst for pushing students to argue from a perspective from which they do not agree. This sounds benign at first glance – until you see an example like this, where a student is asked to justify mass murder as part of a learning experience. One can only hope such a thing would be outside most people’s “comfort zone” and remain there.
The fight is definitely not over for two 17-year-old girls who had the guts to take on a monumental task: teaching some seriously misguided adults that “critical thinking” does not mean abandoning all human decency at the schoolhouse door.”
read even more at the links above