- Kentucky middle and high school students will be required to learn about the Holocaust, according to a bill passed by the state’s General Assembly last week, WEKU reports.
- The bill, passed with a Holocaust survivor observing on the Senate floor, now goes to Gov. Matt Bevin for his signature.
- The survivor, 81-year-old Fred Gross, told reporters that it’s important for educators to tie lessons about the Holocaust to current events.
A genocide education bill has also been introduced in the Connecticut legislature this session. “It’s critical that all students learn about genocide, and about the steps we must take to reject bias and hatred, and embrace love and empathy for all people,” House Chairman State Rep. Andy Fleischmann, a Democrat from West Hartford, said during a March 15 hearing.
Lawmakers from Kentucky were among those from 20 states last year who pledged to introduce legislation that would require public schools to teach about genocide, including the Holocaust, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. The article notes that Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, California and Michigan already require genocide education and have state commissions or task forces that keep the curriculum up to date. Indiana, New York and Rhode Island also require instruction, but don’t have a commission or task force.
Many schools, including a network of more than 80 partner schools, also use lessons created by Facing History and Ourselves to teach about the Holocaust and the “moral choices” that students face today. In addition to teaching academic content, the resource has been recognized as an effective social-emotional learning program by the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning.