Rialto Unified School District Board President Joanna Gilbert sat before a packed house at an emergency meeting and offered a public apology for what she called a "horribly inappropriate assignment." She says "The board and staff are deeply sorry."
The assignment was to write an argumentative essay, using critical thinking, to determine if there really was a holocaust or if it was propaganda tool that was used for political or monetary gain?
14-year-old Oyuki Barragan thought the assignment was very unfair. She said when she wrote her essay back in February she "chose the side that the holocaust was a real, actual and true event.")
Rabbi Abraham Cooper from the Museum of Tolerance was first to take to the podium at this emergency meeting. He thanked interim superintendent Mohammad Islam for taking action against the assignment including prohibiting this sort of assignment again in the future. He said ""that holocaust denial exists is a slander against every victim of the Nazis dead or alive."
No one in the board room spoke in support of the controversial homework assignment. Interim Superintendent Mohammad Islam told us "the whole assignment was .. the intent was to help the students with critical thinking. There was nothing bad behind it. He said he interviewed the teachers who engaged in this assignment. and those involved didn't realize what the implications might be.
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