By Richard Irwin, Staff Writer
Nogales High students are especially thankful for friends, family and freedom this Thanksgiving. The Rowland Unified students have been studying the Holocaust this week.
Last week, 150 history students toured the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. Then, they gathered in the gym for a live Skype with a Holocaust survivor.
“I want my students to learn history from firsthand accounts and experiences. These people bring history alive, having actually lived through historic events,” explained teacher Devon Butcher.
Butcher is an enthusiastic instructor of world and U.S. history. At Cal State Fullerton, Butcher discussed how to teach students about the Holocaust after the last survivors had died.
“The fear we discussed was when this generation is gone and can’t tell their stories, how do we go forward as educators and teach this?” Butcher asked. “How can we teach this horrific event in history without firsthand accounts?”
So the Nogales teacher took his students to the Museum of Tolerance. The museum helps students understand the Holocaust as well as prejudice and discrimination in the world today.
“We watch people get bullied every day and don’t do a thing about it,” Butcher said.
Every visitor gets a different passport with the story of a child affected by the Holocaust. The passport is updated during the tour, revealing the child’s fate at the end.
“I thought it was a very sad situation, because no matter what the age the children were, they killed them,” said 15-year-old sophomore Paola Aldana.
Read more in Rich Irwin’s story HOLOCAUST.