When Holocaust “Role Plays” Go Wrong (i.e. Always)

A former student at Perryton High School in the great state of Texas is suing the school district over his school’s now-ended Red Ribbon Program. In the program students wearing red ribbons played the role of Jews, while those without ribbons played Nazis. The “Jews” had to take orders from the “Nazis”–including performing difficult and humiliating physical tasks.

How could such a perfectly designed program have gone wrong? Well…

The “Jew” filing suit was forced to carry a “Nazi” who weighed 70 lbs more than he did. As another “Nazi” jumped onto the “Jew’s” back he suffered a partially dislocated hip.

The student is suing the district, not the students, presumably because the students “were just following orders.”

via Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

What do you think?

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Samuel Johnson

Sam Johnson was born and raised on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, but is now an LA-based writer/director/producer. Follow him @smorganjohnson on the twitter.

2 Responses

  1. Andy

    It seems that both students and educators find it difficult to learn from the past. This same stupid experiment was carried out in the 2008 german movie Die Welle (The Wave), which in turn was based on a book of the same title, which was based on the social experiment carried out at Cubberley High School in Palo Alto, California, during the first week of April 1967. The same result was seen when the original teacher lost control of the experiment and the students.

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  2. Strixx

    Oh my gosh!! I feel so good that I wasn’t the only one. Except, we had the Holocaust game in our middle school. No one seems to believe that ANY teachers would be stupid enough to do this. But it happens. And when you tell 8th graders they are allowed to torture each other, it’s a recipe for disaster.
    I was on the “oppressed” side, so our team lead some revolts that involved secretly putting nasty notes on the “Superior” backpacks and then pinning it on a popular kid who used to make fun of us so we could watch him be publicly executed. You would think they would learn from Zimbardo

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