Last year Leesville introduced a new course, Holocaust and Genocide, to the Social Studies Department.
Students were attracted to the class for many different reasons. For starters, the course counts for an honors credit, causing many GPA lovers to enroll. However, not only does this course have credit appeal, but the content of the class intrigues people.
In total, there were four sections of the course, two in the fall and two in the spring, taught by Mark Kautzman and Britt Davis.
Like many students who were eager to take the class, teachers also were enthusiastic about teaching it.
“Mrs. Eastman asked around to get a feel for who would like to teach the course, and I jumped at the chance,” said Mr. Kautzman.
Students and teachers have equally enjoyed this class. Most students who enrolled in the class want to be there, rather than being placed in it to fulfill a graduation requirement.
“It’s a fascinating topic, one that holds the attention of students pretty well,” said Mr. Kautzman. “It is great for discussion topics, which I love… what is right/ethical, what does justice look like, what should be the role of the US, etc.”
The class starts at looking at the roots of Jewish history, then moving onto the Armenian Genocide, the first noted genocide. From this point, the class learns about the rise of the Nazi power, the Holocaust and ends with present day genocides.
“I want students to look deeply into the personal motivations for genocide. So often EOC courses must cover material so quickly that there is little depth to what we teach,” said Mr. Davis. “[The role of this course is to] help us understand the psychology of hate and group violence so that we can avoid such behaviors.”
Students who have taken the class agree. “I was so excited to sign up for this class because it is an interesting topic and a fun class to take senior year,” said Jessika Byrd.
While signing up for next year’s classes, students should consider signing up for honors Holocaust and Genocide based on its high ratings by the teachers as well as the students.