Hudson Catholic scrutinized after history students asked to compare lynchings to killings by police

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Hudson Catholic High School in Jersey City is being scrutinized after history class students were asked to “find a famous case of lynching and compare it to a famous case where an African American was slain by a police officer.”

Hudson Catholic High School in Jersey City. Photo via Google Maps.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

The assignment began circulating on social media yesterday, the same date it was due, and notes that the assignment should be done in a powerpoint format, as well as that students “should provide background on specific cases and describe what happened afterwards.”

The teacher, who has not been identified, also suggested using Google to find a famous case of lynching.

Jersey City Police Officers Benevolent Association President Joe Cossolini said that Hudson Catholic’s reputation shouldn’t be tarnished “over one ill-conceived assignment.”

“The President of Hudson Catholic contacted me and advised that he had voiced his concerns about this assignment with the teacher,” he told HCV last night.

“It is unfortunate that Hudson Catholic, a well-respected learning institution, is now being cast in a negative light over one ill-conceived assignment. This type of rhetoric only serves to divide rather than produce well rounded unbiased thinkers.”

Hudson Catholic President/Principal Terence Matthews deferred comment to the Archdiocese of Newark, where spokeswoman Maria Margiotta explained that the screenshot didn’t “accurately portray the intent of the instructor” and that students have received a new assignment.

” … The assignment intended to encourage a thoughtful dialogue of post-Civil War and modern-day racism and violence against African Americans, and followed comprehensive classroom presentations and discussions on promoting better communication and information to ensure fair and equal treatment of all,” she said in an email.

“The instructor and school administration regret any concern or misunderstanding this issue may have caused. The school is reviewing the matter, and a new final project has been assigned to students.”

Following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, who has since been found guilty on all counts, last year, Cardinal Joseph Tobin, the Archbishop of Newark, released a message to Hudson Catholic.

“As the most culturally and racially diverse school in the Archdiocese and perhaps the State of New Jersey, the Hudson Catholic community recognizes the important of treating each person with the respect and dignity that God had intended for each person to receive,” he wrote.

“Although we are not perfect and recognize all of our own weaknesses, we will continued to strive to feel the love of the Lord in each of our lives and respond towards each other with that same love.”