KIRKLAND, WA—In honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day, 11-year-old Bobby Schwartz, the only Jewish student in Mrs. Yost's fifth grade class, was asked to explain how and why Hitler murdered six million Jews during World War II.

"I thought that it was important that the students hear what happened from someone directly related to the atrocity," said Yost of Schwartz, who simply rehashed the parts of Schindler's List his mother had allowed him to watch. "I could see that he was uncomfortable talking to the class, but I felt it was important for him to tell people about such a defining event in his past."

Yost said she saw similar discomfort last week when Shawanda Robinson, the only black student in the class, was called upon to explain why radio host Don Imus was fired.