A tenth grade English teacher at Albany (New York) High School faces disciplinary action -- including termination -- the New York Times website reports today (April 12, 2013), for having his students write a composition on the topic "How do I convince my teacher that I think Jews are evil?"
That question was posed to about 75 students this week by the unidentified teacher as a "persuasive writing" exercise. The students were instructed to imagine that their teacher was a Nazi and to construct an argument that Jews were "the source of our problems," using historical propaganda and traditional high school essay structure.
"Your essay must be five paragraphs long, with an introduction, three body paragraphs containing your strongest arguments, and a conclusion," the assignment read. "You do not have a choice in your position: You must argue that Jews are evil, and use solid rationale from government propaganda to convince me of your loyalty to the Third Reich!"
Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard, superintendent of Albany's schools, said, "That's not the assignment that any school district, and certainly not mine, is going to tolerate." Dr. Vanden Wyngaard -- who met with Jewish leaders in Albany and made a public apology today -- said the assignment was apparently an attempt to link the English class with a history lesson on the Holocaust.