Response to Gwinnett County Middle School Assignment
The Georgia Commission on the Holocaust and the Anti-Defamation League are concerned about the inappropriate homework assignment given by a sixth grade social studies teacher at Shiloh Middle School in Snellville. Reports explain that the teacher in question asked students to create a mascot for the Nazi Party. According to the Georgia Standards of Excellence, students in sixth grade are required to “explain the rise of Nazism including preexisting prejudices, the use of propaganda, and events which resulted in the Holocaust.”
This assignment does not appropriately or accurately address the standard. This assignment trivializes the history of the Holocaust and does not address how and why the Holocaust happened. Understanding the Holocaust is far more complex, requiring examination of the many motives that drove the choices of individuals, organizations and governments, which ultimately led to genocide.
To assist teachers with content and pedagogy in teaching about the Holocaust, the Commission and the ADL both provide curricular materials, guidelines, recommended books and resources, and workshops and teacher trainings. Understanding the challenges educators face when trying to teach this subject in a thoughtful, conscientious way, the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust and the Anti-Defamation League are prepared to support educators throughout Georgia by providing them with age-appropriate, historically accurate resources and responsible pedagogy.
The missions of both the Anti-Defamation League and the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust include the charge to educate students to recognize and confront threats to human rights, including hatred, antisemitism, racism and prejudice. The Georgia Commission on the Holocaust strives to preserve the memory of the Holocaust and promote public understanding of the history.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting antiSemitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.