Local lawmakers pass bill to mandate genocide education – Boston News, Weather, Sports

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts middle and high school students are said to learn more about the history of genocide and human rights issues according to a bill passed by state lawmakers on Wednesday.

The bill requires high schools and high schools in the state to provide instructions on the history of genocide. The legislation comes at a time when hatred and anti-Semitism are on the rise across the country, with several incidents reported in Massachusetts over the past year, lawmakers said.

Republican administration Charlie Baker has 10 days to decide whether to sign the bill into law. Massachusetts does not currently require education about the Holocaust or other genocides as part of the classroom curriculum.

Lawmakers renewed pressure earlier this year to make education about the history of genocide mandatory a high school soccer coach has been fired following reports that the team used anti-Semitic language, including a mention of Auschwitz, in its on-field game calls.

The Massachusetts Senate passed a similar bill last year to demand genocide instruction before students graduate from high school, but it failed to reach Baker’s desk.

This bill would create a Genocide Education Trust Fund to support the development of teaching materials and provide professional development training for educators.

The legislation would also require school districts to submit an annual description of their lesson plans and programs to educate students about genocides to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

According to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, as many as 17 states require Holocaust education as part of their high school curriculum.

Lawmakers supporting the bill point to a 2020 survey from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. The survey surveyed knowledge of the Holocaust among millennials and Generation Z populations and found that 63% of respondents in the United States were unaware that six million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust.

The survey also found that nearly half of the respondents were unfamiliar with Nazi concentration camps such as Auschwitz.

Democratic Senate Speaker Karen Spilka said that while crimes against humanity of the past cannot be undone, society must learn from it.

“As the Jewish wife and daughter of a World War II veteran who liberated the Buchenwald concentration camp, I believe it is our responsibility to ensure that we educate our children about the many instances of genocide throughout history so that it never happens again. is repeated,” said Spilka. in a written statement.

An outside investigator found in June that the Duxbury high school football team that used anti-Semitic language during a game this season has been using similar language in practice for about ten years.

The investigator was hired in March following revelations that the Duxbury High School team used the word “Auschwitz” while making calls on the field during a game. The team also used the words “rabbi” and “dreidel.”

In a summary of the report released at the time, Chief Inspector John Antonucci of Duxbury said the coaching staff probably knew the team was using such language.

(Copyright (c) 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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