Administrators for the Rialto Unified School District agreed to revise the assignment after it drew international attention in May, and they responded to criticism by arguing that none of the students w
ho completed the essay questioned or denied the Holocaust.
But The San Bernardino County Sun surveyed the eight-grade students’ work and found many of them expressed doubts about the Holocaust or denied outright that it had happened.
In some cases, students earned good scores for arguing the Holocaust never took place, and teachers praised their reasoning.
“I believe the event was fake, according to source 2 the event was exhaggerated,” one student wrote. (The newspaper retained students’ and teachers’ grammar and spelling.) “I felt that was strong enogh evidence to persuade me the event was a hoax.”
That student earned 23 points out of 30, with points taken off for failure to address counterclaims and capitalization and punctuation errors.
“(Y)ou did well using the evidence to support your claim,” the student’s teacher commented.