Simulation teaches Holocaust lesson: Students divided into Nazis and Jews for two days

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For the past two days, a sign on the cafeteria door at Hammond School read, “Jews and dogs not allowed.”

The sign was part of the sixth-grade’s simulation of 1930s Germany in which students were divided into two groups – Nazis and Jews.

The students portraying Nazis spent a day as a privileged class, sitting in front rows, serving as teachers’ pets and being told they were smart. Meanwhile, the students who portrayed Jews ate in silence in the hallways, sat on the floor in the backs of classrooms and wore stars pinned to their shirts, said Karen Shull, the sixth-grade English teacher who created the simulation.

Such simulations are performed in schools across the country as a way of teaching that prejudice can be casual and easy to adopt. While Hammond’s program is highly structured and appears to generate little criticism, education experts say similar simulations have gotten out of hand and been harmful to students. They urge schools to proceed with caution when planning them....

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