After initially defending it, a school district in the Inland Empire of Southern California has decided to modify a required English class assignment that instructed eighth graders to determine whether the Holocaust really happened or was just a “propaganda tool that was used for political and monetary gain.”

Mohammad Z. Islam, the interim superintendent of the Rialto Unified School District, about 50 miles east of Los Angeles, has promised to “assure that any references to the holocaust ‘not occurring’ will be stricken on any current or future Argumentative Research assignments,” reports Los Angeles television station KTLA.

“The holocaust should be taught in classrooms with sensitivity and profound consideration to the victims who endured the atrocities committed,” said district spokeswoman Syeda Jafri in a statement.

The Holocaust was the systematic mass murder of approximately 6 million Jews and up to 5 million other human beings in Nazi Germany and Nazi-occupied territories during World War II.

Conspiracy-minded Holocaust deniers – mostly white supremacists and various factions in Arab nations and Iran – argue that that the Holocaust was a hoax perpetrated by Jewish people to advance Jewish interests.

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