In the face of rising antisemitism, Massachusetts lawmakers have approved a bill on Holocaust education.
In response to an increase in antisemitism in the United States, Massachusetts lawmakers have approved a bill that will require middle and high schools to teach the history of genocide and human rights issues, including the Holocaust.
Governor Charlie Baker, a Republican, has 10 days to determine whether or not to sign the bill into law. Currently, there are no genocide education requirements in the state’s curriculum.
According to The Associated Press, if the law is passed, a Genocide Education Trust Fund will be established to aid in the creation of teaching materials and instructor training. Every year, school districts would be required to give a description of genocide lesson plans and programs to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Following the dismissal of a high school football coach due to allegations that the team used antisemitic language, MPs began to press for the genocide education requirement once more. Those in favor point to a 2020 survey conducted by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany as evidence.
According to the Associated Press, 63 percent of millennials and Generation Z respondents in the United States were unaware that six million Jews were killed during the Holocaust. About half of the people polled had no idea what Nazi concentration camps were like.
The Massachusetts Senate passed a law requiring schools to teach kids about genocide before they graduated. It did not, however, reach Baker.
Karen Spilka, the Democratic Senate President, stated that society must learn from humanity’s previous mistakes.
“As a Jewish woman and the daughter of a World War II veteran who liberated the Buchenwald Concentration Camp,” Spilka said in a written statement, “I believe it is our responsibility to ensure that we educate our children on the many instances of genocide throughout history so that it is never repeated.”
See the list below for more Associated Press reporting.
According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Holocaust education is required in 17 states’ secondary school curricula.
In June, an outside investigation discovered that the Duxbury high school football team, which used antisemitic language during a game this season, had been using similar language in practice for over a decade.
The investigator was recruited in March when it was revealed that the Duxbury High School had been hacked. This is a condensed version of the information.