Man's inhumanity to Man
February 4, 2004 9:11 AM   Subscribe

Man's inhumanity to Man Here is a project that young elementary school children are undertaking in order to visualize what 6 million dead humans would seem like. I and others are ciruclating this call for help so that the school, the kids, and you can all be involved in a worthwhile project. Read about the project and ask yourself what it would take of your time and effort to help these youngster learn.
posted by Postroad (13 comments total)
This sounds like one of those urban myths to me (or a sneaky plan to get scrap metal).... didn't do any research to verify it though.
posted by zeoslap at 9:19 AM on February 4, 2004

Okay it seems legit but I still think it's a sneaky way to get a bunch of scrap metal to sell :)
posted by zeoslap at 9:22 AM on February 4, 2004

Its probably real, but now that it is on the web it will become another Craig Shergold-type urban legend. Ten years from now this school will still be inundated with paperclips.
posted by TedW at 9:45 AM on February 4, 2004

I'm not sure a 9 week course on 'hate' for kids is a real educational winner. How about this instead: they learn readin', writin', and 'rithmetic, and then when they get to high-school, when their brains are ready for complex histrorical subject matter, they can read William L Shirer's Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich or Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago for extra credit in a history class?
posted by dgaicun at 9:55 AM on February 4, 2004

Why the Holocaust? Is this a Euro-school or something? Did a lot of their grandfathers liberate concentration camps? What's the connection? Shouldn't they do something to get the National Slave Memorial built instead?

At least that was something that the US had something to do with.
posted by kablam at 9:57 AM on February 4, 2004

Yeah, that whole winning the war thing was tangential, kablam.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:18 AM on February 4, 2004

I don't think they're talking about who won the war, but about those who died in it. Another school claims to have collected 20,000,000+ paper clips in a similar project. This is still less than the Russian casualties in WW2; Hitler, like Napolean probably lost to the Russians as much as to anyone else.
posted by carter at 11:05 AM on February 4, 2004

I recall an 7th grade science class where the teacher concocted some half-wit plan to collect thousands of soda can tabs. Apparently, the tabs have more silver in them or something and you can actually turn them in for money - my memory is sketchy. Here's the kicker: the tabs served absolutely no purpose for the science class but the amount you brought in determined part of your grade. Anyway, having no respect for this teacher I didn't participate and by the end of the class the whole soda tab idea was abandoned for lack of participation.
posted by quadog at 12:00 PM on February 4, 2004

A very similar paperclip project at Whitwell Middle in Tennessee has been going on since 1998 (and is noted in the linked letter as inspiring the Ohio project). In fact, the Whitwell paperclip project had already made the blue pages back in 01.
posted by ahughey at 1:06 PM on February 4, 2004

Our project will continue until March 5, 2004

Someone needs to resend this e-mail without the date.
posted by alms at 1:46 PM on February 4, 2004

I'm a bit confused - are people in this thread saying that just the paper-clip aspect of the project is frivolous, or are they seriously suggesting that kids be taught nothing but basic skills and US history until high school?
posted by Chanther at 2:30 PM on February 4, 2004

In response to Chanther: I'm thinking that people are suggesting that elementary school kids aren't yet intellectually and emotionally mature enough to really understand the nature of The Holocaust, slavery, genocide, etc. I agree, somewhat. Not that children should be kept in the dark about the Dark Side, but that extensive instruction about these events might be better assimilated in the post-pubescent years.
posted by kozad at 3:05 PM on February 4, 2004

I'm thinking that people are suggesting that elementary school kids aren't yet intellectually and emotionally mature enough ...

We're talking about 8th graders. So the kids are probably 12 or 13, yeah? Tweens and teens are hardly the same category as elementary school. I would concede your point were we talking about first graders.

As for 8th graders, absolutely they should learn about things like the Nazi's. They should know that governments can usurp enough power that it seems safer to stay quiet, even when atrocities are being committed, lest you be accused of being against the party.
posted by dejah420 at 9:20 PM on February 4, 2004

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