A high school English teacher in New York state who had students pretend to be Jew-hating Nazis in a writing assignment has been placed on leave.
The teacher at Albany high school caused a storm of criticism after having students practice the art of persuasive writing by penning a letter to a fictitious Nazi government official arguing that "Jews are evil".
District superintendent Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard held a news conference Friday to apologize for the assignment.
The Times Union newspaper reported on Saturday that the teacher was not in class on Friday and had been placed on leave by the school district.
The district has not named the teacher, who was described as a veteran.
The writing assignment was done before a planned class reading of the memoir Night, by Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel.
For the assignment, the teacher asked students to research Nazi propaganda, then write a letter trying to convince an official of the Third Reich "that Jews are evil and the source of our problems".
"Review in your notebooks the definitions for logos, ethos, and pathos," the teacher's assignment said. "Choose which argument style will be most effective in making your point. Please remember, your life (here in Nazi Germany in the30s) may depend on it!"
Wyngaard said she didn't think the assignment was malicious but "it displayed a level of insensitivity that we absolutely will not tolerate".
Many of the students were dismayed by the assignment. Some refused to write the essay.
Persuasive Essay: New York City is the Most Amazing City in the World
Have you ever wanted to vacation somewhere where there is amazing history, great food, cool restaurants, and plenty of shopping. If so, get to the nearest airport A.S.A.P and catch the soonest flight to New York City because New York City is the most amazing city in the world!
The best way to get to know a little bit about New York is to start with the history. For example, the Empire State Building was completed in 1931. Also that the Statue of Liberty was a gift from the French in 1886. Think about this? How many times have you seen The Empire State Building or Times Square in a movie? Over a hundred movies must have been filmed in New York. It’s fun to go somewhere where a famous movie was filmed. When I was in New York we drove by the hotel where “Home Alone 2” was filmed. You can go to museums and read books to find out more on the amazing history of New York City.
I for one get hungry after a long day and what better way to quench that hunger than with amazing food. New York City is full of great food and cool restaurants. From the food trucks and carts to the 5 star restaurants, New York City has it all! When I went to New York, one really cool restaurant I went to was Stardust Diner. Not only was the food really good but the servers sang and did performances all night long. It was so fun! There was also a Peanut Butter restaurant. I felt like I had more of a dessert that day than lunch. One night we almost ended up going to the most expensive restaurant in all of New York but we changed our minds, of course. There are restaurants in New York for every budget and liking.
Last but not least is the SHOPPING! Not only does New York have lots of stores and I mean a lot of stores, all the stores are different from the ones you’d see anywhere else. For example, we have a Toys R Us in London but does ours have 3 floors and a ferris wheel? Well, the one in New York does and it’s super cool. The Apple store is also really cool. The store itself is underground and above ground, is a huge glass cube which you enter through a glass door down glass stairs or a glass elevator. In fact, New York City is one of the top 5 shopping centrals’ in the world.
Wouldn’t you want to go on a memorable adventure to the most amazing city in the world, New York City? The shopping, great food, cool restaurants, and famous history will create memories that will last forever. And as all those t-shirts say I LOVE NYC!
Posted March 31, 2014 by sofiajv in category 2013-2014, Writing Workshop