High School Students reflect on holocaust

February 27, 2012 by  

In a multimedia project aimed at highlighting modern injustice, a juniors group at High Tech High in San Marcos, California, took a look at injustice using one of the term’s most classic examples: the Holocaust.

On Friday, February 17, more than 100 students were introduced to the “Wash, Rinse, Don’t Repeat” program at Cal State San Marcos. Family members of the students, as well as other members of the community, were also in attendance.

About 58 students from Michelle Clark’s class made mini documentaries comparing Holocaust footage to modern injustices such as child abuse, racism, religious persecution and genocide. The school got the footage through the USC Shoah Foundation Institute database, who conducted interviews with survivors of the Holocaust for educational uses.

“We used news clips to show that, as students, we can be ‘upstanders,’ not bystanders,” said Dyson De Soto, the project’s video editor.

The students also wrote spoken-word pieces and made visual artwork to emphasize what they’d learned.

In a spoken-word piece about propaganda, Cayla Benjamin said,

“I was visited by Uncle Sam in a dream. He was black, white, yellow and illegal-alien green.”

Programs like these, as well as printing services, can help people to better understand modern injustices and how to avoid them, but, according to Michelle Clark, some people just don’t understand the historical importance of the Holocaust.

After certain students “shrugged off” a segment on the Holocaust, Clark said,

“It struck me as strange that they saw [the Holocaust] as something you check off, because you could study it forever and not really know it.”