Some parents at Apopka Memorial Middle School in Florida are upset with the way the school chose to educate its students about the Holocaust: Those with last names beginning with L-Z had to wear armbands with stars on them for a full day.
Those with stars upon thar’s weren’t allowed to sit down in class, were forced to use only certain drinking fountains and endure other forms of “persecution” so that they would understand what it was like to be a “Jew for a day.” Parents weren’t informed of the exercise and complained to the local news.
“He was crying,” said one parent of his son. “I said, ‘What are you crying about?’ He said, ‘Daddy, I was a Jew today.'”
Full story. Hat tip to Jewschool.
Humph. I can’t decide if I would applaud my kids’ school for organizing something like this, then springing it on everyone so as to retain maximum emotional reaction, or be totally pissed that the teachers and administrators would attempt to “educate” my child in such an emotionally manipulative fashion.
After thinking about it for five minutes, I’ve decided on the latter. Yes, Holocaust education is extremely important. But if children both Jewish and non-Jewish are scarred by this little activity and become resentful and distrustful of their educators, how does that help?
Besides which an “experiment” like this educates kids that being Jewish is a negative thing and synonomous with second class, rather than as example of tolerance. Never mind implying that the Holocaust was about different water fountains. (I am almost tempted to say, “what’s up for next year? will they be forced into cattle cars and have their heads shaved …?”)
The more I think about this the more offensive it becomes — it sounds like one of those other team-based simulation experiments gone badly awry, and while it might have been meant well, totally distorted thinking IMO.
whew. who me? outspoken?
PS I can’t help but notice that the news story shows a five-pointed yellow star.
This is NOT the way to teach kids about the Holocaust! Who’s mashugana iodea was this?! What happened to The Diary of Anne Frank? Or having Holocaust survivors–the precious few who are left–talk about their experiences. let them watch “Paper Clips”!
Other ways they could have celebrated, I meen remembered the Holocaust could have included: urinating on the students, making them stand in the corner of the room like a lamp, or play dead.
Actually I am impressed that this small town, queer little school would have such great interest in teaching impathy for the Jews. Perhaps they are evangelicals who are prepping the little chiren for being good little second coming go getters. Love the Jews, pray for their salvation after they’re all killed, I meen die of natural causes, then party in Israel like it’s 1999.
There is nothing more primal than being soothed by the sound of rushing water, no matter the source.