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14 April 2013

homework assignment due Monday / teacher expects essay demonstrating proficiency in persuasive writing / persuasive argument for home-schooling

The Associated Press
USA national/international newswire
pickup from Albany Times-Union
Saturday 13 April 2013

New York teacher who
assigned Nazi letter
put on leave

[photo:] Albany Public Schools Superintendent Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard speaks about a Nazi-themed assignment given to students during a news conference on Friday 12 April 2013, in Albany, N.Y. Vanden Wyngaard said a high school English teacher could face disciplinary action for giving the writing assignment that asked students to make a persuasive argument blaming Jews for the problems of Nazi Germany. [Photo: Mike Groll]

NEW YORK (AP) -- New York school district officials have placed a high school English teacher on leave for having students pretend to be Jew-hating Nazis in a writing assignment.

The teacher at Albany (New York state) High School caused a storm of criticism after having students practice the art of persuasive argument by writing a letter to a fictitious Nazi government official arguing that "Jews are evil."

District Superintendent Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard held a news conference Friday apologizing for the assignment.

The [Albany] Times Union reports that the teacher was not in class Friday and has been placed on leave.

The school district has not named the teacher, who was described as a veteran. Monday's assignment was brought to administrators' attention by a parent of one of the students. Some students refused to write the assignment.
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