Playing Political Football with Holocaust Education

 

Watching this battle transpire is both enlightening and pathetic. One of the most tragic occurrences in modern history has become the focus of groups who have decided their particular agenda for teaching in Florida about the Holocaust is the only one that counts. After researching the subject, I am sickened by the tug-of-war that is taking place and wonder how the Florida Department of Education will resolve this fight.

To be fair, I must begin with my strong bias that this topic should be covered in the schools. The evils that were perpetrated as part of Holocaust history is the source of the statement that many support, “Never Again.” The Holocaust stands as a reminder of the horrors that can be perpetrated when long-standing hatred and evil power join forces, and is a lesson that we seem to have to learn, over and over again.

And yet, there can clearly be too much of a good thing, in my opinion, and too many political agendas to satisfy in regard to the Holocaust. That Florida has decided to include the Holocaust in its school curriculum is admirable, but the way they are going about it reflects a poorly planned strategy and process for selecting the content.

*     *     *

The first mistake the Florida DOE made was in not limiting the amount of classroom content and time that would be spent on this topic. I have no doubt that those who responded to the Dept.’s request for proposals were dedicated to making sure that all the content that represented the most important aspects of the Holocaust should be included. The content that is proposed by the Dept. as a result of these proposals might be reasonable, in terms of limited depth and time requirements for grades 5, and 6-8, but by the time students reach grades 9-12, an inordinate amount of time has been allotted to Holocaust studies.

I object for a couple of reasons. The level of detail included at these grade levels is not necessary to understand the origins and practices of anti-Semitism that led to the Holocaust, for starters. In addition, students are already being deprived of adequate instruction on social studies and civics (although a significant effort is being made to improve those areas of study). But by the time both areas are expanded, there will be little time to address other relevant areas for high school education. Unless the Dept. intended to propose to the public everything that could be included, they would have been wiser to be more discerning in setting limits. I suspect their agenda was to try to please everyone in the process, and instead, no one will be satisfied.

The second problem is the motivation of the groups that were selected in the final selection process. I think that the statement from Yael Hershfield, interim regional director of the Anti-Defamation League Florida in a letter to Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, suggests part of the problem in curriculum goals:

‘Any legitimate Holocaust education expert’ would advise that students learn what happened from 1933-45 and about antisemitism and also be encouraged to make connections between the past and their own roles and responsibilities today. [Italics are mine.]

The following viewpoint suggested by others who submitted proposals comes closer to the overall criticism of the Dept.’s goals:

Experts tapped by the state to help write or review new Holocaust standards say Florida’s proposal fails to connect the horrors of the Holocaust to lessons that would encourage today’s students to understand the ‘ramifications of prejudice, stereotyping and racism.’ [Italics are mine.]

So, there is a larger agenda, after all. The Holocaust will just be one more vehicle to focus on systemic racism and prejudice that goes beyond anti-Semitism.

Finally, probably the biggest controversy was regarding the selection of an organization called Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, an Evangelical Christian group that includes Holocaust training in its outreach. You can guess at how many buttons were pushed selecting a group that doesn’t have a primary Holocaust focus and is also Christian (which many Jews would find unacceptable); rejecting their proposal came easily to some groups. Oren Stier, a professor of religious studies and director of the Holocaust and genocide studies program at Florida International University, protested the group’s involvement. (Professor Stier’s comment that his university’s proposal was largely ignored may have been a factor in his reaction.) He made the following statement:

PJTN was ‘ostensibly founded to combat antisemitism in education,’ but its ‘true agenda is to establish a foothold in the nation’s public schools to promote religious indoctrination and their selective, revisionist, conservative Christian conception of American history,’ he added.

Sounds pretty anti-Christian to me, especially with no evidence.

The Southern Poverty Law Center added its two cents by calling PJTN an anti-Muslim hate group. (Please note that the Orlando Sentinel article didn’t add that SPLC removed  PJTN from its hate list in January 2021.)

But PJTN was also demanding inclusion of content that they thought should be in the curriculum:

Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, which says its goal is to educate Christians about their ‘biblical responsibility to stand with their Jewish brethren and the state of Israel against the global rise of antisemitism,’ is unhappy with the state’s proposal, too.

The group said the state proposal ‘falls dismally short’ of what it wanted because it does not include its suggested lessons on Jewish traditions, symbols and beliefs, from lighting Sabbath candles to the star of David to the biblical story of Mordechai and Esther, among other problems.

Expecting that level of detail about Jewish practices is excessive. This approach reflects precisely the problem with demands made by other organizations’ proposals and the unwillingness of the Dept of Education to take a targeted and incisive approach to curriculum development. The Department has put its own curriculum proposal together, and on July 14, 2021, a public meeting will be held to discuss the Department’s proposal.

Someone should attend and bring the popcorn.

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  1. Chuck Thatcher
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    Look what happens when government takes over training up your children in the way they should go, so that when they are old they will not depart from it.

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Chuck (View Comment):

    Look what happens when government takes over training up your children in the way they should go, so that when they are old they will not depart from it.

    So what conclusion should we derive from your comment, @chuck?

    • #2
  3. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr
    @Tex929rr

    Aside from anything else, it bewilders me that anyone listens to the SPLC any more.  Apparently it is impossible to be discredited by the legacy media as long as you toe the progressive line. 

    • #3
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Tex929rr (View Comment):

    Aside from anything else, it bewilders me that anyone listens to the SPLC any more. Apparently it is impossible to be discredited by the legacy media as long as you toe the progressive line.

    I decided to write to the author of the article in the Orlando Sentinel with a link validating my claim that the organization had been removed from the SPLC list. She wrote back and said she’d check it out. I’ll bet.

    • #4
  5. Chuck Thatcher
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Chuck (View Comment):

    Look what happens when government takes over training up your children in the way they should go, so that when they are old they will not depart from it.

    So what conclusion should we derive from your comment, @ chuck?

    1. The parent is ultimately responsible for properly educating the child, and no State can absolve them of that responsibility.
    2. We need to get governments out of the education (indoctrination) business

    (I was paraphrasing King Solomon, from Proverb 22:6)

    • #5
  6. Freeven Member
    Freeven
    @Freeven

    Political football, indeed. Unfortunately, the Left has injected politics into every aspect of American life. They’ve made it impossible for reasonable people to act reasonably. And reasonable people who are not allowed to act reasonably soon become unreasonable. That’s where we are. And there is no choice, really. It’s not hyperbole to say that the fate of our country rests in the fate of our schools. 

    It pains me to say it as a former public school teacher, but things have escalated to the point where the only solution may be to burn the whole wretched mess to the ground and completely eliminate the public school system. It’s hard to see how that might happen — as we say in New Hampshire, Yuh caint get theyah from heyah.  Perhaps a start would be to mandate cameras in all government school classrooms, so parents can see what goes on. They are our schools and our kids, and if cameras are good enough for cops, they should be good enough for teachers.

    It’s all very disheartening.

    • #6
  7. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Susan, thanks for the post and the thoughtful analysis.

    My own general impression — like yours, I think — is that the Holocaust is over-emphasized.  It’s not that it is unimportant.  It’s just that there are many thousands of things that people ought to know about history, and not much time to teach them.

    On reading your post, I googled the issue of historical ignorance, searching for “historical ignorance of American youth poll.”  The first result was a NYT article, and the second was a report by “ACTA,” the American Council of Trustees and Alumni.  The ACTA report, titled “The danger ignorance of history poses to a free society,” is a good one (here).

    The ACTA report is bleak.  Among other results, it states:

    • More than a third did not know the century in which the American Revolution took place.
    • More than 50% of respondents attributed the quote, “From each according to his ability to each according to his needs” to either Thomas Paine, George Washington, or Barack Obama.
    • 41% could not identify Auschwitz as a Nazi concentration camp or extermination camp.

    Even among college graduates:

    • Only 42% placed the Battle of the Bulge in the history of WWII
    • Less than 20% could accurately identify the effect of the Emancipation Proclamation
    • One-third were unaware that FDR introduced the New Deal
    • Over one-third could not place the Civil War in the correct 20-year time-frame

    The problem, specifically with a proposal like Florida’s which deals with primary and secondary education, is the limited amount of time available.  I think that we are in agreement about this, and I appreciate your balanced treatment of the issue.

    I think of my own high school history education, and my general recollection that I learned almost nothing about meaningful history before high school.  If we’re lucky, I think, students will have two high school history classes — American History, and World History.

    There are about 180 days in a school year.  What to teach in these two classes?

    Well, in American History, I’d probably devote about 5% of the class to World War II.  That’s about 9 days.  I’d certainly mention the Holocaust, but I don’t think that it would warrant even one full class day (which would be 11% of the time spent on WWII).

    In World History, one might not even reach WWII.  The entire 20th Century would probably only warrant about 10% of the class — 18 days — and WWII would be perhaps 5-10% of that, meaning 1-2 days.

    There’s just so much to know, and so little time to teach it, and so little interest.

    • #7
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Chuck (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Chuck (View Comment):

    Look what happens when government takes over training up your children in the way they should go, so that when they are old they will not depart from it.

    So what conclusion should we derive from your comment, @ chuck?

    1. The parent is ultimately responsible for properly educating the child, and no State can absolve them of that responsibility.
    2. We need to get governments out of the education (indoctrination) business

    (I was paraphrasing King Solomon, from Proverb 22:6)

    So would you support Holocaust education in any form? I’m not challenging you, I’m just curious. I can see where people would say it should have a place as part of WWII history in the schools, and I would probably be okay with that. What do you think?

    • #8
  9. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    There’s no doubt that our educational system, particularly the curriculum, is a disaster. But I’m open to hearing what people think about Holocaust education in particular. As I said (as a Jew), I think there may be way too much time spent on the subject, given what our kids really need to learn.

    • #9
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    The problem, specifically with a proposal like Florida’s which deals with primary and secondary education, is the limited amount of time available.  I think that we are in agreement about this, and I appreciate your balanced treatment of the issue.

    We are in agreement! I think two agendas are getting pushed into one, too: anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. It’s just too much to address. I think it might be interesting in high school or college to have an elective course on catastrophic/genocidal events in history, their histories and what we can learn from them. (Rwanda comes to mind.) 

    • #10
  11. Freeven Member
    Freeven
    @Freeven

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    There’s no doubt that our educational system, particularly the curriculum, is a disaster. But I’m open to hearing what people think about Holocaust education in particular. As I said (as a Jew), I think there may be way too much time spent on the subject, given what our kids really need to learn.

    Apologies, @susanquinn. I took your post too broadly and my comment above is more general than you were soliciting. 

    Regarding how the Holocaust should be taught, I agree in principle that it is probably over-emphasized. As @arizonapatriot points out, there’s just too much to cover in too short a time — a tension that only increases as new, monumental events occur. That said, the Holocaust is a special case as it’s so frequently referenced across the culture, and because it offers a degree of clarity with respect to good and evil and the nature of man that can’t always be found in historical events. So I think we really want to make sure kids have an understanding of it, so they can think thoughtfully about these things. I don’t know how to quantify it beyond saying it probably deserves a little more attention than it it might otherwise warrant.

    • #11
  12. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    The problem, specifically with a proposal like Florida’s which deals with primary and secondary education, is the limited amount of time available. 

    Yup. Its a problem with so many educational fads.  They take no account of limited time. In some cases I wonder if the proponents are thinking that once people realize how wonderful these new methods are, we’ll give them a gazillion times more money so they can hire more teachers, etc. But they still don’t take into account the fact that children grow up so quickly. 

    • #12
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Freeven (View Comment):
    Apologies, @susanquinn. I took your post too broadly and my comment above is more general than you were soliciting. 

    No need to apologize! I think the broader question is also important, so if someone wants to pick up on that, I’m open to it. And thanks for your thoughts on the Holocaust. I like your point about shining a light on good and evil, since it’s a topic so poorly covered nowadays.

    • #13
  14. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Freeven (View Comment):
    Regarding how the Holocaust should be taught, I agree in principle that it is probably over-emphasized. As @arizonapatriot points out, there’s just too much to cover in too short a time — a tension that only increases as new, monumental events occur.

    I remember when my kids were reaching upper elementary grades and it was not emphasized at all. In fact, kids knew nothing about it.  I’ve told elsewhere on Ricochet how I complained about that state of affairs to one of my children’s teachers.  But there is such a thing as striking the right balance. 

    • #14
  15. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Susan, thanks for the post and the thoughtful analysis.

    My own general impression — like yours, I think — is that the Holocaust is over-emphasized. It’s not that it is unimportant. It’s just that there are many thousands of things that people ought to know about history, and not much time to teach them.

    On reading your post, I googled the issue of historical ignorance, searching for “historical ignorance of American youth poll.” The first result was a NYT article, and the second was a report by “ACTA,” the American Council of Trustees and Alumni. The ACTA report, titled “The danger ignorance of history poses to a free society,” is a good one (here).

    The ACTA report is bleak. Among other results, it states:

    • More than a third did not know the century in which the American Revolution took place.
    • More than 50% of respondents attributed the quote, “From each according to his ability to each according to his needs” to either Thomas Paine, George Washington, or Barack Obama.
    • 41% could not identify Auschwitz as a Nazi concentration camp or extermination camp.

    Even among college graduates:

    • Only 42% placed the Battle of the Bulge in the history of WWII
    • Less than 20% could accurately identify the effect of the Emancipation Proclamation
    • One-third were unaware that FDR introduced the New Deal
    • Over one-third could not place the Civil War in the correct 20-year time-frame

    The problem, specifically with a proposal like Florida’s which deals with primary and secondary education, is the limited amount of time available. I think that we are in agreement about this, and I appreciate your balanced treatment of the issue.

    I think of my own high school history education, and my general recollection that I learned almost nothing about meaningful history before high school. If we’re lucky, I think, students will have two high school history classes — American History, and World History.

    There are about 180 days in a school year. What to teach in these two classes?

    Well, in American History, I’d probably devote about 5% of the class to World War II. That’s about 9 days. I’d certainly mention the Holocaust, but I don’t think that it would warrant even one full class day (which would be 11% of the time spent on WWII).

    In World History, one might not even reach WWII. The entire 20th Century would probably only warrant about 10% of the class — 18 days — and WWII would be perhaps 5-10% of that, meaning 1-2 days.

    There’s just so much to know, and so little time to teach it, and so little interest.

    “…so much to know and so little time to teach it…”

    And yet, there’s always time for trash such as the 1619 Project and “personal growth” courses teaching first grade kids how to masturbate.

    Is there a bigger waste that today’s education “establishment”?

    • #15
  16. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    So would you support Holocaust education in any form? I’m not challenging you, I’m just curious. I can see where people would say it should have a place as part of WWII history in the schools, and I would probably be okay with that. What do you think?

    Susan, this one wasn’t directed at me, but I’m going to give it a shot.  I would certainly mention the Holocaust, but there’s so much else to cover.  I’m trying to come up with a list of 20-30 things that I would want students to learn about WWII, and even that’s probably overly ambitious.

    1. Expansionist desires on the part of Germany, Italy, and Japan.  For some understandable reasons, actually.
    2. The Italian conquest of Ethiopia.
    3. The Japanese conquest of Korea.
    4. The German anschluss with Austria.
    5. Munich and the German seizure of Czechoslovakia
    6. The Japanese conquest of much of China
    7. The Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and the partition of Poland
    8. The Twilight War/Phony War, aka sitzkrieg.
    9. The Russian seizure of the Baltic States
    10. The Russian attack on Finland
    11. The German conquest of Denmark and Norway
    12. The German attack on Belgium and France and the Fall of France
    13. The Battle of Britain
    14. The Battle of the Atlantic, with focus on the u-boats
    15. The Italian attack on Greece
    16. The desert campaign in Libya/Egypt
    17. The German attack on Russia
    18. Leningrad
    19. Pearl Harbor
    20. The other early Japanese conquests – Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines, etc.
    21. Midway
    22. Guadalcanal
    23. Stalingrad
    24. El Alamein
    25. Operation Torch
    26. Driving Italy out of the war (i.e. Sicily and Salerno)
    27. The allied bombing campaign against Germany
    28. Kursk
    29. The Normandy invasion
    30. The island-hopping campaign in the Pacific
    31. The Battle of the Philippine Sea aka the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot
    32. The Battle of the Bulge
    33. MacArthur’s return to the Philippines
    34. The Battle of Leyte Gulf
    35. The Battle of the Bulge
    36. Iwo Jima and Okinawa
    37. The American bombing campaign against Japan
    38. V-E day
    39. The death of Roosevelt
    40. The A-bombs
    41. V-J day
    42. The electoral defeat of Churchill
    43. The disaster of Potsdam and the Iron Curtain

    Where do you fit the Holocaust in all of that?  I’d do it, but this is only a quick outline, and it’s already twice as long as I planned, and I’ve barely scratched the surface.

    What people do the kids need to know about?  Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin, Hitler, and Mussolini, obviously.  Tojo and Goebbels and Goering.  De Gaulle, Petain, Laval, Darlan, Molotov, Ribbentrop, Rommel, Zhukov, Guderian, Montgomery, Brooke, Wavell, Marshall, King, Arnold, Nimitz, Eisenhower, MacArthur, Fletcher, Halsey, Patton, Bradley, Yamamoto.

    As Vizzini said, wait ’til I get going.  Where was I.  Right, Yamamoto, which reminds me of the Yamato, which is a battleship, which reminds me that I haven’t mentioned sinking the Bismarck.

    Oh, and the damned Nazi monsters slaughtered around 6 million Jews, and a bunch of other people, with German efficiency, on an industrial scale.

    It takes years to learn this stuff, and this is just one war, maybe 5% of the history that one should know.

    Remind me again: why do we let 18-year-olds vote?

    • #16
  17. Chuck Thatcher
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Chuck (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Chuck (View Comment):

    Look what happens when government takes over training up your children in the way they should go, so that when they are old they will not depart from it.

    So what conclusion should we derive from your comment, @ chuck?

    1. The parent is ultimately responsible for properly educating the child, and no State can absolve them of that responsibility.
    2. We need to get governments out of the education (indoctrination) business

    (I was paraphrasing King Solomon, from Proverb 22:6)

    So would you support Holocaust education in any form? I’m not challenging you, I’m just curious. I can see where people would say it should have a place as part of WWII history in the schools, and I would probably be okay with that. What do you think?

    Yeah, sure:  I think Jerry Giordano was close.  If a particular student was interested I might suggest some extracurricular reading, although nothing in particular comes to mind.

    One other thing – where does it say schooling is limited 180 days/year?

    • #17
  18. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Susan Quinn:

    I think that the statement from Yael Hershfield, interim regional director of the Anti-Defamation League Florida in a letter to Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, suggests part of the problem in curriculum goals:

    ‘Any legitimate Holocaust education expert’ would advise that students learn what happened from 1933-45 and about antisemitism and also be encouraged to make connections between the past and their own roles and responsibilities today. [Italics are mine.]

    The following viewpoint suggested by others who submitted proposals comes closer to the overall criticism of the Dept.’s goals:

    Experts tapped by the state to help write or review new Holocaust standards say Florida’s proposal fails to connect the horrors of the Holocaust to lessons that would encourage today’s students to understand the ‘ramifications of prejudice, stereotyping and racism.’ [Italics are mine.]

    So, there is a larger agenda, after all. The Holocaust will just be one more vehicle to focus on systemic racism and prejudice that goes beyond anti-Semitism.

    Isn’t placing antisemitism and the Holocaust in a historical and intellectual context necessary if you want children to internalise ‘never again’?  Seems like that would be key.

    • #18
  19. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Susan, this one wasn’t directed at me, but I’m going to give it a shot.  I would certainly mention the Holocaust, but there’s so much else to cover.  I’m trying to come up with a list of 20-30 things that I would want students to learn about WWII, and even that’s probably overly ambitious.

    1. Expansionist desires on the part of Germany, Italy, and Japan.  For some understandable reasons, actually.
    2. The Italian conquest of Ethiopia.
    3. The Japanese conquest of Korea.
    4. The German anschluss with Austria.
    5. Munich and the German seizure of Czechoslovakia
    6. The Japanese conquest of much of China
    7. The Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and the partition of Poland
    8. The Twilight War/Phony War, aka sitzkrieg.
    9. The Russian seizure of the Baltic States
    10. The Russian attack on Finland
    11. The German conquest of Denmark and Norway
    12. The German attack on Belgium and France and the Fall of France
    13. The Battle of Britain
    14. The Battle of the Atlantic, with focus on the u-boats
    15. The Italian attack on Greece
    16. The desert campaign in Libya/Egypt
    17. The German attack on Russia
    18. Leningrad
    19. Pearl Harbor
    20. The other early Japanese conquests – Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines, etc.
    21. Midway
    22. Guadalcanal
    23. Stalingrad
    24. El Alamein
    25. Operation Torch
    26. Driving Italy out of the war (i.e. Sicily and Salerno)
    27. The allied bombing campaign against Germany
    28. Kursk
    29. The Normandy invasion
    30. The island-hopping campaign in the Pacific
    31. The Battle of the Philippine Sea aka the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot
    32. The Battle of the Bulge
    33. MacArthur’s return to the Philippines
    34. The Battle of Leyte Gulf
    35. The Battle of the Bulge
    36. Iwo Jima and Okinawa
    37. The American bombing campaign against Japan
    38. V-E day
    39. The death of Roosevelt
    40. The A-bombs
    41. V-J day
    42. The electoral defeat of Churchill
    43. The disaster of Potsdam and the Iron Curtain

    Where do you fit the Holocaust in all of that?  I’d do it, but this is only a quick outline, and it’s already twice as long as I planned, and I’ve barely scratched the surface.

    I’d put the Holocaust at the top of that list.  I wouldn’t want it taught to the exclusion of everything else, but there are quite a few things in that list that could be given a far lower priority. 

    • #19
  20. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I used to think it was a good idea to teach high school juniors or seniors about the Holocaust. But now I am afraid to see what would become of the content in the hands of the current American history teachers who are devoted to Howard Zinn’s version of history. It is wild how politicized the Holocaust has become in public education. Mentioning it brings out all of the dysfunctional emotions human beings have.

    The Dairy of Anne Frank, Man’s Search for Meaning, Eli Wiesel’s lecture on indifference, his book Night, and the film that Eisenhower had made of the army’s opening of the concentration camps, a film that was used as evidence during the Nuremburg Trials–I think these would be the essential elements of a high school lesson plan on the Holocaust.

    The problem with teaching it in high schools is that the kids start seeing Nazis everywhere. It’s scary stuff for them to learn. They don’t know how to process it. Heck, I still don’t know how.

    It needs to be handled very carefully.

    And teachers need to be able to answer the inevitable question from their students, What is the difference between the Holocaust and other genocides in human history? For those answers, the Nuremburg trials would be helpful.

    • #20
  21. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Freeven (View Comment):
    if cameras are good enough for cops, they should be good enough for teachers.

    Can you imagine the nuclear explosion at NEA and AFT headquarters if a state proposed putting a camera in every classroom so parents could follow their children’s schooling?

    • #21
  22. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    Chuck (View Comment):
    One other thing – where does it say schooling is limited 180 days/year?

    State laws mandate either days of instruction or hours of instruction per year. They do this to ensure that education time is not shortchanged between the various systems (Homeschool, Private School, Charter School, Public School).

    • #22
  23. Chuck Thatcher
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    Instugator (View Comment):

    Chuck (View Comment):
    One other thing – where does it say schooling is limited 180 days/year?

    State laws mandate either days of instruction or hours of instruction per year. They do this to ensure that education time is not shortchanged between the various systems (Homeschool, Private School, Charter School, Public School).

    Sorry, but if my child takes more time than that – he’s gonna get more time than that.

    • #23
  24. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Instugator (View Comment):

    Chuck (View Comment):
    One other thing – where does it say schooling is limited 180 days/year?

    State laws mandate either days of instruction or hours of instruction per year. They do this to ensure that education time is not shortchanged between the various systems (Homeschool, Private School, Charter School, Public School).

    I believe the time period was decided upon for agricultural reasons.  Parents needed their children to be available to work the farms during most of the growing season . . . . . .

    • #24
  25. Chuck Thatcher
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    Stad (View Comment):

    Instugator (View Comment):

    Chuck (View Comment):
    One other thing – where does it say schooling is limited 180 days/year?

    State laws mandate either days of instruction or hours of instruction per year. They do this to ensure that education time is not shortchanged between the various systems (Homeschool, Private School, Charter School, Public School).

    I believe the time period was decided upon for agricultural reasons. Parents needed their children to be available to work the farms during most of the growing season . . . . . .

    Thats what I learned – in school.

    • #25
  26. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Chuck (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Instugator (View Comment):

    Chuck (View Comment):
    One other thing – where does it say schooling is limited 180 days/year?

    State laws mandate either days of instruction or hours of instruction per year. They do this to ensure that education time is not shortchanged between the various systems (Homeschool, Private School, Charter School, Public School).

    I believe the time period was decided upon for agricultural reasons. Parents needed their children to be available to work the farms during most of the growing season . . . . . .

    Thats what I learned – in school.

    Yeah . . . public school . . .

    • #26
  27. Ontheleftcoast Member
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    Callling it “The Holocaust” is itself political propaganda. The primary meaning of the word is “an animal which, as an offering to a deity and usually having been slaughtered, is entirely burned up on an altar.” This seems blasphemous to me. In addition, the way in which it has been framed in public discourse since has contributed to today’s cult of victimhood in general, and promoted a distorted picture of Judaism in particular.

    The Hebrew word, Shoah, destruction, is better. It’s used with a prefix which constitutes the definite article: HaShoah: The Destruction.

    The Jewish “ultraorthodox” community had a better idea idea: Calling it the Churban Europa; the Destruction of Europe. I think that Jewish Europe was probably meant. The root of Churban is  ח•ר•ב (Ch•R•B), one literal meaning is “sword.” I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the response of the Orthodox world was to build Torah institutions and to have families, usually large ones. It has thrived and is becoming a larger percentage of the Jewish world in the US and Israel while those segments of the Jewish community whose communal spiritual response (I am in no way criticizing, I cannot criticize what any individual survivor’s response may have been) heavily involved, or even centered around, “The Holocaust” are getting older and are themselves dying out.

    • #27
  28. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    MarciN (View Comment):
    The problem with teaching it in high schools is that the kids start seeing Nazis everywhere. It’s scary stuff for them to learn. They don’t know how to process it. Heck, I still don’t know how.

    Very thoughtful comments, @marcin. Actually, I’d be surprised if high school kids reacted with fear. I would think, instead, that the information would seem so grotesque that it might seem otherworldly, and be very difficult to relate to. I guess a lot of the reaction would be in how it was taught, that we are not in imminent danger of this type of thing happening again, but rather the potential is always there.

    MarciN (View Comment):
    And teachers need to be able to answer the inevitable question from their students, What is the difference between the Holocaust and other genocides in human history? For those answers, the Nuremburg trials would be helpful.

    I agree. But also, anti-Semitism has been embedded in cultures from the beginning. So although there are other genocides, few of them have such deep, historic roots. 

    • #28
  29. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):

    Callling it “The Holocaust” is itself political propaganda. The primary meaning of the word is “an animal which, as an offering to a deity and usually having been slaughtered, is entirely burned up on an altar.” This seems blasphemous to me. In addition, the way in which it has been framed in public discourse since has contributed to today’s cult of victimhood in general, and promoted a distorted picture of Judaism in particular.

    The Hebrew word, Shoah, destruction, is better. It’s used with a prefix which constitutes the definite article: HaShoah: The Destruction.

    The Jewish “ultraorthodox” community had a better idea idea: Calling it the Churban Europa; the Destruction of Europe. I think that Jewish Europe was probably meant. The root of Churban is ח•ר•ב (Ch•R•B), one literal meaning is “sword.” I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the response of the Orthodox world was to build Torah institutions and to have families, usually large ones, has thrived and is becoming a larger percentage of the Jewish world in the US and Israel while the response of those segments of the Jewish community whose communal spiritual response (I am in no way criticizing, I cannot criticize what any individual survivor’s response may have been) heavily involved, or even centered around, “The Holocaust” are getting older and are themselves dying out.

    Thank you so much for enlightening all of us, @ontheleftcoast. I had no idea of the origin of the word, and I think Shoah is a much better and appropriate word. I am also very concerned of the effect the “victim mentality” has on the overall Jewish community. I’m not sure how to balance our remembering the potential for this kind of evil, and avoiding the perspective of victim. Any thoughts on that?

    • #29
  30. Ontheleftcoast Member
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    The problem with teaching it in high schools is that the kids start seeing Nazis everywhere. It’s scary stuff for them to learn. They don’t know how to process it. Heck, I still don’t know how.

    Very thoughtful comments, @ marcin. Actually, I’d be surprised if high school kids reacted with fear. I would think, instead, that the information would seem so grotesque that it might seem otherworldly, and be very difficult to relate to. I guess a lot of the reaction would be in how it was taught, that we are not in imminent danger of this type of thing happening again, but rather the potential is always there.

    MarciN (View Comment):
    And teachers need to be able to answer the inevitable question from their students, What is the difference between the Holocaust and other genocides in human history? For those answers, the Nuremburg trials would be helpful.

    I agree. But also, anti-Semitism has been embedded in cultures from the beginning. So although there are other genocides, few of them have such deep, historic roots.

    True, but in many ways the Soviet participation in the Nuremberg trials was grotesque. The Eastern Front was, among other things, a civil war between two murderous national socialist regimes. The USSR successfully conflated “fascism” with any resistance to its subversive attacks on the West, and by participating in the official defining of the word “genocide” managed to have examination of its own genocides kept off limits. That included the planned genocide of the USSR’s remaining Jews, which was interrupted by Stalin’s death.

    • #30