Controversial history assignment at Arroyo High School asked students to create Nazi time capsule

SAN LORENZO, Calif. (KGO) -- It started as a sophomore world history assignment but turned controversial once the assignment's content was leaked. It involved Nazis, swastikas, and offended students and staffers.

Emotions ran high at Tuesday night's San Lorenzo Unified School Board meeting.

"I can't be the Jewish mom at the school that consistently fights against antisemitism," said parent Megan Johnson.

Johnson is referring to a history assignment which asked students to make a time capsule of Nazi society. The principal has since pulled it from the curriculum.

Johnson's daughter, Sophia, saw another student working on it. The 15-year-old said, "Seeing swastikas at my school, especially right in front of me, is just not a comfortable sight."

The district considers the assignment anti-Semitic.

Many admit they were shocked to hear about what students were asked to do.

Ammar Saheli is the district's student support services director and said, "We don't need to have students actually recreating such racist and anti-Semitic symbols to learn about that historical time and propaganda."

Stefany Padilla is in that history class and completed the assignment begrudgingly, she said.

"I was like scared and kind of concerned because of what people might see me doing it they might think badly of me."

The history teacher will meet with the principal and other teachers to go over the assignment in a closed door meeting Thursday.
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