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5th grade speech on religion wins but ribbon is taken


Chowder Head

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The kid wrote the speech himself, he won. Period. He should be able to participate. The claim that 5th graders don't need to know about mass murder is bull crap. By 5th grade most stupids have a concept of death, 911, and actual start of history and death.

http://www.wfla.com/story/24208236/5th- ... hpt=us_bn8

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If certain topics were off-limits, that should have been made clear to students from the start. I remember being told that religion and politics weren't allowed when we did speeches at school. [That's why I did lame topics like "my pet fish".]

I read the full text. There wasn't anything that gory about it, and it was milder than I expected. I was getting lessons about genocide that were FAR more graphic in grade 5.

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Having worked in Holocaust education, I honestly don't think it--or any genocide-- should be taught in any detail before high school. In part because students fail to comprehend the complexity in the middle grades. I also found that elementary and middle level teachers are not adequately informed themselves and sometimes make grave errors in how they handle the material. A sixth grade teacher at a school I taught full time at had students make collages of hate symbols and posted them on the wall and claimed the activity "taught tolerance". I have heard horror stories of middle level teachers--seeking hands-on experiences--trying to role play a concentration camp. The results are either to make students think it was not that bad or nearly cross the line into abusing them. (Hint: it is not exactly legal to deny your students lunch).

But that doesn't mean this student should be penalized for the topic.

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The kid wrote the speech himself, he won. Period. He should be able to participate. The claim that 5th graders don't need to know about mass murder is bull crap. By 5th grade most stupids have a concept of death, 911, and actual start of history and death.

http://www.wfla.com/story/24208236/5th- ... hpt=us_bn8

With the topic of abortion in the forefront of most media on a daily basis, it is beyond naive to assume that most fifth graders don't understand death.

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Gosh, what a terrible child! Florida can't have 5th graders going around doing a

"Report on a topic or text or present an opinion, sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace." (Common Core academic standard for FL LACC.5.SL.2.4)

Or, even worse! What if that evil child were made to

"Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information. " (Common Core LACC.5.W.1.1)

What was the teacher thinking?!

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I distinctly remember being assigned a tiny debate on a controversial subject in 5th grade and that subject was Abortion. I got to present a 2 minute pro-choice argument in my conservative as fuck community elementary school. No harm no foul.

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My daughter was in grade 5 in September, 2011 (911). Her teacher made it a point to present the news and talk about it. When I asked her about it, she said her teacher told them she had been a child in primary school during the Cuban missile crisis and the teachers and parents had been very hush hush about it, and the kids were all terrified, because they sensed the fear but nobody would tell them anything.

I was very impressed with the teacher's choice. The school administrators had decided to bring the kids together to discuss it, and this was just one teacher's personal take on it.

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All you hit the nail on the head, 5th graders already are taught in a degree about mass murder in one form or another through their history books. This child was striped of his ribbon and opportunity to represent his school because his topic was how "religion" has lead to mass murder. Lord forbid kids know a truth.

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My fifth grade teacher covered the Holocaust briefly.

So did mine. And Pearl Harbor. I didn't get a bigger education on WW2 until 8th grade, and my Jr year of HS I wrote a research paper on Pearl Harbor. Mainly about the feuding between the US and Japan, the attack itself and the aftermath.

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My daughter was in fifth grade last year and they didn't learn about the holocaust or anything similar. It was all early American history leading up to the Revolutionary War. This year it's all about the Egyptians and Greeks. She doesn't know what abortion is either.

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Having worked in Holocaust education, I honestly don't think it--or any genocide-- should be taught in any detail before high school. In part because students fail to comprehend the complexity in the middle grades. I also found that elementary and middle level teachers are not adequately informed themselves and sometimes make grave errors in how they handle the material. A sixth grade teacher at a school I taught full time at had students make collages of hate symbols and posted them on the wall and claimed the activity "taught tolerance". I have heard horror stories of middle level teachers--seeking hands-on experiences--trying to role play a concentration camp. The results are either to make students think it was not that bad or nearly cross the line into abusing them. (Hint: it is not exactly legal to deny your students lunch).

But that doesn't mean this student should be penalized for the topic.

I was born in 1948 and all we heard were horrible WW2 stories Holocaust and all, at school and at home.

Child or age appropriate (god I hate that word) means censorship.

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I don't remember Grade 5 history at all (I think it was mostly "and then THIS explorer reached Canada in the 15th century, and THIS guy came in the 16th century"), but in Grade 4 we had a very honest discussion of Canada's treatment of its Native peoples, including a survivor of a residential school who came and spoke to us about her life. I still remember that very strongly, but as far as I remember we were all able to handle it. No one was upset among the students and parents, at least. Kids are way more resilient than people think. Hiding the world from them, in my opinion, is much more harmful.

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Having worked in Holocaust education, I honestly don't think it--or any genocide-- should be taught in any detail before high school. In part because students fail to comprehend the complexity in the middle grades. I also found that elementary and middle level teachers are not adequately informed themselves and sometimes make grave errors in how they handle the material. A sixth grade teacher at a school I taught full time at had students make collages of hate symbols and posted them on the wall and claimed the activity "taught tolerance". I have heard horror stories of middle level teachers--seeking hands-on experiences--trying to role play a concentration camp. The results are either to make students think it was not that bad or nearly cross the line into abusing them. (Hint: it is not exactly legal to deny your students lunch).

But that doesn't mean this student should be penalized for the topic.

Role playing a concentration camp sounds like the teacher took it too far, but in 6th grade (does that mean the same everywhere? We were 12/13) my politics teacher for example once spent a lesson playing "different types of teachers" in nazi Germany. The one who played along despite hating it, the indifferent, the one loving in etc. I think it was less dull than just telling us.

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The kid wrote the speech himself, he won. Period. He should be able to participate. The claim that 5th graders don't need to know about mass murder is bull crap. By 5th grade most stupids have a concept of death, 911, and actual start of history and death.

http://www.wfla.com/story/24208236/5th- ... hpt=us_bn8

Nothing annoys me like the underestimation of a child's intelligence and ability to grasp complex issues.

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Nothing annoys me like the underestimation of a child's intelligence and ability to grasp complex issues.

Excactly!!!!

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That's weird my daughter had to read The Diary of Anne Frank and Number the Stars in sixth grade and that's only a year older than this boy. Her teachers expected her and her classmates to be mature enough to be able understand the gravity of what happened and to be able to deal with the idea that some people are capable of extreme cruelty. They didn't feel the need to hide the fact that there have been some very dark episodes in humanity's relatively recent past. Things like genocide are hard for anyone to grasp the true horror of, but kids once they're old enough need to know the awful truth about it, because those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. I think at ten or eleven a kid is old enough to know the very basics at least.

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Nothing annoys me like the underestimation of a child's intelligence and ability to grasp complex issues.

^THis.

And if my kid wrote the winning paper and the committee tried to take it away from him, I would raise serious hell. For reals. He put the work in, his paper won, he should keep the prize.

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All you hit the nail on the head, 5th graders already are taught in a degree about mass murder in one form or another through their history books. This child was striped of his ribbon and opportunity to represent his school because his topic was how "religion" has lead to mass murder. Lord forbid kids know a truth.

And how many mass murders have occurred since this current generation has begun primary school? Loads. School shootings, the Boston Marathon bombing, terrorist attacks such as the ones in Syria. Better to talk about it than to allow the kids to remain fearful.

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I don't know, I have mixed feelings about the appropriate age to expose children to this sort of thing. I read Diary of Anne Frank when I was 9. I was a really sensitive kid and I had nightmares for years after. I couldn't grasp how a group of people could be so cruel. I really took it to heart. Which I guess could be a good thing, but I was traumatized just from reading it, so maybe I should of been a little older? I suppose it depends on the kid.

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I don't know, I have mixed feelings about the appropriate age to expose children to this sort of thing. I read Diary of Anne Frank when I was 9. I was a really sensitive kid and I had nightmares for years after. I couldn't grasp how a group of people could be so cruel. I really took it to heart. Which I guess could be a good thing, but I was traumatized just from reading it, so maybe I should of been a little older? I suppose it depends on the kid.

I hope my child is horrified and traumatized by reading Anne Frank or the like. It's the appropriate response to that story. I'd be legit concerned if he wasn't horrified, actually. What better way to teach children that genocide is wrong than by allowing them to read a book that puts a human face on genocide that so many kids can connect with? If they feel the terror and fear, if they realize that genocide happens to individuals that are a lot like us instead of Those People, then upcoming generations have a chance at not repeating such horrors. We read it in school. We talked about how and why genocide was allowed to happen. Then we talked about how to prevent it in the future. I hope my child has a similar experience. Yes, it sucked learning that the world is a shitty place sometimes. But I'm glad I did learn that in a supportive classroom where my questions and feelings were welcomed and supported instead of brushed aside with, "Oh, that will never happen again, go to sleep."

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