School District Drops Holocaust-Denial Lesson Plan
Educators wanted to promote 'critical thinking skills'
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2014 7:15 PM CDT

(Newser) – A California school district is scrapping a lesson plan that allowed middle school students to deny the existence of the Holocaust, Fox News reports. After a wave of criticism and a reported death threat, Southern California's Rialto Unified School District backpedaled on its unusual method of teaching eighth-graders about propaganda. The lesson plan (part of a "Diary of Anne Frank" unit, the Daily Bulletin notes) asked students to write an essay for or against the belief that the Holocaust occurred—which would help them "develop critical thinking skills," a school board member said.

Among the critics was the Anti-Defamation League, which expressed its concerns to district Interim Superintendent Mohammad Islam, saying the lesson plan "gives legitimacy to the hateful and anti-Semitic promoters of Holocaust denial," reports another Daily Bulletin article. Today the district canceled the plan and promised to strike "any reference to the Holocaust 'not occurring'" from school assignments. Meanwhile, Rialto police said they received several calls from someone who made death threats against Islam and a district spokeswoman. Authorities are investigating, and two officers were stationed today on campus.

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Stefan Huddleston
Nov 14, 2015 8:21 PM CST
While critical thinking and debating events in history are very important, this was a ill-conceived idea. One does not debate whether or not the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, instead you might debate why they bombed Pearl Harbor.
May 6, 2014 5:26 AM CDT
No more stupid than man-made greenhouse denial or Evolution denial. Still not to many left wing holocaust deniers...if only the tea party would take off their clown shoes they could goosestep with the best of them.
May 6, 2014 3:12 AM CDT
I think it is really sad that all the Holocaust hysteria we as a nation have been fed all our lives has had no effect on the Israelis. They seem to have taken other lessons from the harsh treatment and prejudice, and use it to mistreat the Palestinians and all other non Jews. The Holocaust happened, but perhaps not in the way we think. The forces that were fighting against Germany have some culpability. They enacted a blockade that set all of Germany on a starvation diet, which affected the Jews in the forced labor camps, who had previously been kept alive to supply the German war machine. We have all received a very skewed story of those events. Certainly everyone should be aware that there was Post WWII propaganda. School children should know, no nation has been exempt from creating propaganda.