What Were They Thinking? Surprise Holocaust Day At Middle School

Discussion in 'Education' started by GotZoom, Mar 30, 2006.

  1. GotZoom
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    GotZoom Senior Member

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    Several parents in Apopka, Fla., are upset over a surprise school "Holocaust" project that some say tormented children, according to a Local 6 News report.

    Local 6 News reported that eighth-graders with last names beginning with L through Z at Apopka Memorial Middle School were given yellow five-pointed stars for Holocaust Remembrance Day. Other students were privileged, the report said.

    Father John Tinnelly said his son was forced to stand in the back of the classroom and not allowed to sit because he was wearing the yellow star.

    "He was forced to go to the back of the lunch line four times by an administrator," Tinnelly said.

    Tinnelly said the experiment upset his child.

    "He was crying," Tinnelly said. "I said, 'What are you crying about?' He said, 'Daddy, I was a Jew today.'"

    Other parents and children shared similar stories, Tinnelly said.

    "They were told that they could not use the water fountains," Tinnely said. "There was even a sign supposedly at one water fountain (saying) if you're wearing a yellow star , you can't use this water fountain."

    "This was supposed to be a creative way to teach the horrors of the Holocaust but unfortunately it has sparked controversy and more importantly it has sparked conversation," Reznick said. "We have now heard from nearly a dozen parents (who are) very upset."

    Tinnelly said he believes it is important to teach the Holocaust, but apparently little was learned during the experiment.

    "I tried to talk to my son and I asked all of these questions and the only thing he said is, 'Daddy, the only thing I found out today is I don't want to be Jewish,'" Tinnelly said.

    "Children were selected to be persecuted or privileged, some not told the rule," Reznick said. "Parents tell Local 6 they were not told prior to the school-wide experiment."

    "Teachers felt that it would have defeated the purpose to tell the students ahead of time because that would have prepared them," Principal Douglas Guthrie said. "Students came in and all they got was a star."

    "This was supposed to be a creative way to teach the horrors of the Holocaust but unfortunately, it has sparked controversy and more importantly, it has sparked conversation," Reznick said. "We have now heard from nearly a dozen parents (who are) very upset."

    Local 6 News aired a statement from The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida; "Of course, we applaud Apopka (Memorial) Middle School's effort to engage in Holocaust education with the hope of a tolerance education component in the classroom. That is the mission of The Center to teach tolerance through Holocaust remembrance and education. However, we do not encourage nor train teachers to engage in simulation exercises."

    Guthrie admitted that he would do some things differently in the exercise because of complaints but said some kids got the message, Reznick said.

    "They need to know, we don't want history to repeat itself," Guthrie said.

    http://www.local6.com/news/8345157/detail.html
     
  2. dmp
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    dmp Senior Member

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    Oh boo-fuckin-hoo...whiney ass kids... :(
     
  3. Shattered
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    Now come on.. That's kind of an odd thing to just dump on kids that young without any warning whatsoever.. If it were highschool kids, I could understand..They have more of a concept to grasp what's going on..
     
  4. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Actually middle school kids are able to handle something like this pretty well, IF the teacher knows how to 'debrief' afterwards. Too many teachers just 'borrow' or 'follow' suggested lesson plans, without actually considering the 13 or 14 year old thought process.

    This is a common lesson plan, used often to teach about Holocaust, Jim Crow, and character programs. The teacher just sucked goats.
     
  5. misterblu
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    misterblu Active Member

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    I agree, and if the teacher doesn't 'debrief' correctly, then perhaps the parents should take up that slack.

    I'd love to have a discussion with my (future) children prompted by this sort of project. :thup:
     
  6. GotZoom
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    GotZoom Senior Member

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    I went through a simliar thing when I was in middle school. They divided, a'la last names, the class into "Black" and "White." Back of the class, special water fountain, special table at lunch, etc.

    Our parents were notified and had to give approval. We also knew ahead of time because the subject of black history is what we were studying at the time.

    We learned quite a bit..it was actually a very good experience for all of us. Gave both "races" of kids a different outlook on the subject.

    To spring it on kids without warning....definitely "goat sucking" worthy.
     
  7. Nienna
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    Nienna Senior Member

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    I got to agree.
    And even for high school kids... I assume this project was designed to allow kids to truly feel what the Jews went through. But, the only ones who would "truly feel" what the Jews went through were the ones with the stars. The ones without stars might come off feeling superior. There is enough of that BS in schools as it is, forming cliques and groups, and status wars and stuff, without adding an administration-approved project. It was a bad idea.
     
  8. dmp
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    dmp Senior Member

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    Kids are wussies. This whole thing smells of parents hoping to win a lottery/lawsuit.

    It's really NOT that big of a deal. Pretty striking lesson. :D

    :)
     
  9. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Not if followed to it's logical conclusion, where the 'favored students' and 'teacher' are tried-which is what should have happened. They should have been forced to listen to the 'victims'-that's all part of the 'process.'

    Taught wrong, very bad. Taught well, very good.
     
  10. Nienna
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    Nienna Senior Member

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    Yes, I can agree with that.
     

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