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Assemblyman Lavine Responds to NYS Education Commissioner Dr. MaryEllen Elia

LongIsland.com

Lavine: "As Americans and as New Yorkers, it is our responsibility to stand against tyranny to protect future generations."

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Assemblyman Charles Lavine.

Photo by: Office of Assemblyman Charles Lavine

New York, NY - April 5, 2017 - I very much appreciate and very much respect New York State Department of Education Commissioner Dr. MaryEllen Elia’s positional statement on the Oswego New Visions Holocaust assignment. Dr. Elia is committing departmental time and resources to ensure that no such assignment is ever again given in any New York school district.
 
Dr. Elia has acknowledged that the assignment was wrong and that it crossed a line that should never be crossed. The teacher has apologized.  Dr. Elia is working to make sure this is not repeated.  Dr. Elia has stated that the Department of Education is partnering with BOCES and with Professor Emeritus Alan Goldberg of Syracuse University’s School of Education who with community input will develop material to help students and teachers learn about the Holocaust in a sensitive and respectful manner.
 
The Holocaust remains a horrific era in human history. Dr. Elia is transforming a painful and ill-conceived assignment into a truly teachable moment for our students and teachers. As Americans and as New Yorkers, it is our responsibility to stand against tyranny to protect future generations from again suffering the terrorism and ritualistic murder of the Nazi years.
 
I thank Dr. Elia for demonstrating true leadership in being receptive to my concerns as well as the concerns of the students who first brought this to public attention. 
 
Note: On April 3, State Senator Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Island) also weighed in on this incident.