TIME Education

California Schools Back Off Assignment That Seemed to Question Holocaust

California's Rialto Unified School District is under fire for a writing project that asked students to consider whether the Holocaust actually happened. The superintendent's office said the "intent of the writing prompt was to exercise the use of critical thinking skills"

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A California school district has promised a review of assignments it gives to students after coming under fire for a writing project that asked students to consider whether the Holocaust actually happened.

“The intent of the writing prompt was to exercise the use of critical thinking skills. There was no offensive intent in the crafting of this assignment,” the office of the superintendent of the Rialto Unified School District said in a statement Monday. “The District will provide additional review of future writing prompts in an effort to ensure appropriate subject matter.”

Several groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, contacted the school district about the Holocaust assignment to voice their objections, the Associated Press reports. The Rialto police department said the assignment even prompted death threats against the district’s interim Superintendent Mohammad Z. Islam and spokesperson Syeda Jafri.

Jafri said the district is committed to revising assignments to remove any language that suggests the Holocaust was not a real historical event.

“The Holocaust should be taught in classrooms with sensitivity and profound consideration to the victims who endured the atrocities committed,” she told the AP.

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