A controversial assignment given to eighth-grade students in the Rialto Unified School District in San Bernadino County that asked them to evaluate whether the Holocaust actually happened or was a myth created for “political and monetary gain was designed in a “misguided” effort to satisfy Common Core curriculum requirements in critical thinking, according to a statement by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Monday.
The ADL, a liberal-leaning Jewish organization committed to fighting prejudice in various forms, said in a blog post: “ADL does not have any evidence that the assignment was given as part of a larger, insidious, agenda. Rather, the district seems to have given the assignment with an intent, although misguided, to meet Common Core standards relating to critical learning skills.” The ADL indicated that it had reached out to the district, warning the assignment “gives legitimacy to the hateful and anti-Semitic promoters of Holocaust Denial.”
Partly as a result of the controversy, school district officials, including interim superintended Mohammed Z. Islam, had begun receiving death threats, according to the local CBS affiliate. Police indicated that they were investigating the threats, and that some of the threats had been very specific in their intent to do harm.