A New York teacher is under fire after he asked his students to come up with arguments to support the mass killing of Jews for an assignment.
The teacher, who thinks he is being “thoughtful,” called on his students to argue in favor of killing Jews as part of his “Defend Hitler’s Final Solution” assignment.
According to students, teacher Michael DeNobile handed out a “Top Secret memorandum” to the class “addressed to senior Nazi party members.” It asked students “to put themselves in the shoes of Adolf Hitler’s top aides,” according to a report at Syracuse.com.
Students were shocked by the assignment and questioned why their teacher would want students to argue in favor of genocide.
DeNobile tried to cover his tracks by telling students it is “not for you to be sympathetic to the Nazi point of view,” and is just “an exercise on expanding your point of view,” Shurtliff and April allege it created a rather intolerant atmosphere.
School officials eventually forced DeNobile to allow students to write on other topics, but students weren’t satisfied with the administration’s response. They want the teacher to apologize for asking them to take part in such an offensive assignment.
Anti-Defamation League Education Director Beth Martinez wrote:
There is no assignment that could ever be given to students that even hints at their [sic] being “two sides” to the “Final Solution”/Holocaust that would be pedagogically or morally sound, and we are very disturbed that students are reportedly being asked to be a part of this.
What a disturbing assignment. How could a teacher possibly think this would be a good idea? DeNobile deserves to be fired and shamed for creating such an insensitive assignment.