The Rialto Unified School District has decided not to ask its eighth-grade students to argue whether the Holocaust happened after the assignment came under fire.
The decision to revise the assignment came Monday after it drew criticism from the Anti-Defamation League and the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which called it “grotesque” in a statement issued that same day.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Los Angeles-based center, said the district’s “assignment mistakenly provides moral equivalency between history and bigotry.”
School administrators planned to “assure that any references to the Holocaust ‘not occurring’ would be stricken from any research assignment,” KTLA-TV reported, citing a district statement.
Students were asked to research and write an argumentative essay about whether the Holocaust actually occurred or if it was “merely a political scheme created to influence public emotion and gain wealth.”
They were required to analyze information from multiple, credible sources.
School district officials reportedly received death threats due to the assignment, KCAL-TV reported.