Florida must reform Holocaust education standards - task force

The task force claimed the Holocaust was being used as a tool to teach the dangers of intolerance rather than being taught as a unique incident * "Bad Holocaust education will fuel Jew-hatred."

An empty classroom (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
An empty classroom
 Florida's special educational task force has called on the state to implement major changes in its adoption of Holocaust Education Standards from kindergarten through 12th grade, citing many problems with the current system that could fuel Jew-hatred.
The task force – led by Proclaiming Justice to The Nations president Dr. Laurie Cardoza-Moore and consisting of other academics, teachers and parents – advocated changes centered around two key factors: The uniqueness of the Holocaust compared to other atrocities, and the importance of acclimating students with living Jews in order to contextualize Nazi atrocities.
The task force claimed that for the average Florida student, the Holocaust was their first exposure to Jews, but at the same time the Holocaust itself was bundled with other Nazi atrocities. As a result, it was often used as a general tool to teach about intolerance, rather than focusing on the uniqueness of the Holocaust itself.
“Students’ first interaction with Jews or Jewish culture should not be in grade 6 when they first learn about the Final Solution. If students in K-5 are taught about Jewish culture, traditions and the impact that the Jewish people have had on our shared history, they will be better served to understand the magnitude of the Shoah,” Cardoza-Moore said in a statement.
“In addition, by demonstrating the unique nature of the Nazi’s war against the Jews, students will be empowered to ensure that Jew-hatred is eradicated. With antisemitism and Holocaust Revisionism on the rise across America, we must understand that good Holocaust education will ensure that Never Again becomes reality, while bad Holocaust education will fuel the Jew-hatred of tomorrow.” 
She admitted that she was receiving from pushback from groups that attempted to universalize the Holocaust as a general lesson on the dangers of intolerance. 
“The systematic annihilation of the Six Million Jews at the hands of the Nazis cannot become a convenient tool to teach about racism and xenophobia. Standards that focus on Jews as a hated relic of the past is a recipe to fuel the Jew-Hatred of the future.”
The task force's findings come months after a widely publicized incident at a Boca Raton high school where a principal was fired after remarking that "I can't say the Holocaust is a factual, historical event."
However, the court later ruled that he was wrongfully fired.
Austen Erblat/Sun Sentinel/TNS contributed to this report.