Virginia’s largest school district to allow students with ‘different experiences’ to ditch Holocaust survivor presentation

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), Virginia’s largest school district, will allow middle school students to ditch a presentation from a Holocaust survivor because kids “have different experiences.”

The shocking story came to light after a mother posted on X about a letter she received from Cooper Middle School.

“A Holocaust survivor is coming to speak to my son’s 7th grade History class on Monday,” wrote Adele Scalia. “Wonderful.”

“What’s less than wonderful, though, is the opt-out for this lesson because ‘We understand that all students have different experiences,'” she stated. “What does that even mean?”

“We understand that all students have different experiences,” the letter read. “If you prefer to opt your child out from participating in this presentation, please email your child’s history teacher and they will be provided an alternate assignment. Please email your child’s history teacher with any questions that you may have.”

Incredibly, FCPS “claimed it is advertising an opt-out for the benefit of Jews,” The Daily Wire reports.

“Each year, Cooper MS invites a Holocaust survivor to speak with students to affirm meaningful learning experiences that increase representation of all identity groups that are essential to student learning,” FCPS explained in a statement to the outlet. “Some Jewish students have previously expressed discomfort while engaging in dialogue around this visit. For that reason, school leadership makes every effort to partner with families of these students, who are 12 and 13 years old, to keep them informed. This opt-out allows the family the opportunity to make the best informed decision on behalf of their student.”

Scalia isn’t buying it.

“If the email had said ‘We understand that some students are very sensitive and Mrs. X’s stories may be disturbing and traumatizing to them…’ I would have given the benefit of the doubt,” she wrote on X. “But it didn’t and so I am drawing different, less charitable (but more likely) conclusions.”

The real reason for the opt-out likely has more to do with the demographics of Fairfax County.

According to The Daily Wire:

Fairfax County contains a hotbed of Muslim extremism. A mosque there, attended by several 9/11 hijackers as well as the Fort Hood terrorist, was presided over by the father of Abrar Omeish, who until this year was a member of the Fairfax County school board.

Omeish voted against an FCPS resolution offering a moment of silence for victims of 9/11 and another for victims of October’s Hamas attacks on Israel, said the decisive World War II victor at Iwo Jima was “unfortunate,” and gave a graduation speech encouraging students to “remember your jihad” and reject capitalism.

 

Listening to the recollections of a Holocaust survivor is supposed to be difficult, argued Jennifer Katz, a founding member of United Against Anti-Semitism.

The Jewish mother of two FCPS students told The Daily Wire that emotional discomfort is part of fully understanding the horrors of that chapter in human history.

“If a specific student is directly tied to the Holocaust or a Holocaust survivor, and the topic is too sensitive for them, then it can be handled on an individual basis,” she said. “To make a blanket opt-out option is misguided and wrong.”

“Given the hostile climate for many Jewish students nationwide, mandatory Holocaust education is more important than ever,” Katz said. “The Holocaust is more than just learning that six million Jews were killed, it’s learning how this was able to happen in the first place.”

“You gotta push back,” one user on X told Scalia. “This is the language of the fringe of the herd complaining ‘who’s gonna protect me from the Cheetah’ all the while looking down at their iPhone.”

 

Melissa Fine

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