Anti-Defamation League calls school assignment on Holocaust 'misguided'

The Anti-Defamation League says the school district in Rialto, Calif., should have asked students to examine motives of Holocaust deniers.
By Frances Burns  |  May 6, 2014 at 1:39 PM
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RIALTO, Calif., May 6 (UPI) -- Asking eighth graders in a California school district to question whether the Holocaust occurred was "misguided," the Anti-Defamation League says.

The Rialto Unified School District in San Bernardino County changed the assignment last week amid widespread criticism. The original assignment asked students to consider the evidence for both sides as part of a "critical thinking" exercise meant to fulfill Common Core standards.

Matthew Friedman, the ADL's associate regional director, said that kind of assignment is especially dangerous given the misinformation available on Internet sites set up by Holocaust deniers. He suggested that the district instead should teach students to question the motives of those who deny the mass killing of Jews by the Nazi regime. But the group said there is no proof that anyone in the school district denies the Holocaust.

"ADL does not have any evidence that the assignment was given as part of a larger, insidious, agenda," the group said Monday in a blog post. "Rather, the district seems to have given the assignment with an intent, although misguided, to meet Common Core standards relating to critical learning skills."

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