Kaminsky calls on Regents and Education Commissioner Elia to investigate the incident, ensure that similar classwork is not being assigned in New York, & invites them to meet with Holocaust survivors
Albany, NY - April 3, 2017 - Today, State Senator Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Island) wrote a letter to members of the Board of Regents and NYS Commissioner of Education MaryEllen Elia urging them to investigate an assignment given by a teacher in upstate New York. The writing project asked some students to defend the Nazi viewpoint in support of the extermination of Jews. Senator Kaminsky also called on Commissioner Elia and the Board of Regents to strongly condemn the assignment and ensure that similar classwork is not being assigned anywhere else in New York.
“This assignment is incredibly disturbing, potentially traumatizing and completely unacceptable,” said State Senator Todd Kaminsky. “That’s why I am calling on the Board of Regents and the Education Commissioner to strongly condemn the assignment and ensure that similar classwork is not being assigned elsewhere. Schools should not be teaching that there is any defense for the systematic annihilation of people, and it is ludicrous to ask children to do so.”
In the letter, Senator Kaminsky also invites Commissioner Elia and the Regents to meet with Holocaust survivors in his district.
“The Holocaust is not some hypothetical scenario to be used for a mock debate; it was a horrific genocide, plain and simple,” wrote Senator Todd Kaminsky. “I would like to invite you to come to my district and meet with Holocaust survivors. It is my hope that a short conversation with them will show why permitting these assignments is such a dangerous path for the state to travel down.”
Last week, a teacher assigned students in the Oswego County CiTi/BOCES New Vision program a writing project to defend the Nazi viewpoint in support of the extermination of Jews. Students, feeling uncomfortable, reported the assignment to other teachers, administrators and the Anti-Defamation League because they want to ensure that it is never given again.