School apologizes for making students write Nazi propaganda

Posted By Kristen Butler,  |  April 12, 2013 at 1:37 PM
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Albany High School apologized for a persuasive writing assignment that prompted students to study Nazi propaganda and argue that Jews are evil, the Albany Times-Union reported on Friday.

"You must argue that Jews are evil, and use solid rationale from government propaganda to convince me of your loyalty to the Third Reich!"

Students were asked to watch and read Nazi propaganda, then, in five paragraphs, they were required to prove that Jews were the source of Germany's problems.

One-third of the students refused to complete the assignment.

"I would apologize to our families," said Albany Superintendent Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard. "I don't believe there was malice or intent to cause any insensitivities to our families of Jewish faith."

Vanden Wyngaard said the exercise reflects the type of "sophisticated" writing expected of students under the new Common Core curriculum, and endeavors to connect history and social studies to English assignments.

Vanden Wyngaard acknowledged that it was worded in a very offensive manner, and should have been worded differently. She did not identify the English teacher to the Times-Union or discuss whether the educator faced any discipline.

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