NY School's Essay Topic: Why 'Jews Are Evil'

Albany principal apologizes over English class 'thought experiment'

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 12, 2013 1:02 PM CDT

(Newser) – The principal of Albany High School is apologizing to students and families after an English teacher asked the teens to turn in an essay making the case that "Jews are evil." No, the teacher isn't an anti-Semite (we hope)—it was one of those "thought experiments" in which students are supposed to hone their skills of persuasion by arguing a bizarre position. In this case, the teacher asked them to think like Nazis, reports the Times Union.

"You must argue that Jews are evil, and use solid rationale from government propaganda to convince me of your loyalty to the Third Reich!" the assignment read. While the principal says there was no "malice or intent to cause any insensitivities," the language was so charged that a third of the class refused to write the essay. No word yet on whether the unidentified teacher will be disciplined. Daily Intel thinks the craziest part is that the assignment asked students to draw from Nazi propaganda, history class, and "any experiences you have." Experiences "with ... Jews being evil?" asks Dan Amira. (The Times Union notes it's not New York state's first such issue this year.)

  (Shutterstock)
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