(June 30, 2020 / JNS) The New Hampshire House of Representatives passed a bill on Tuesday that would require Holocaust and genocide prevention education in the Granite State.
The bill will also establish a commission to study best practices for teaching genocide education in New Hampshire public schools.
House Bill 1135 passed the state Senate in March and includes the text of state Sen. Jay Kahn’s Senate Bill 727.
Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican, is expected to sign House Bill 1135 into law, which would make New Hampshire the 14th state in the United States to mandate genocide education in public schools.
“The need for Holocaust and genocide education in our schools could not be more urgent,” said Robert Trestan, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League’s New England branch.
“ADL documented 2,107 anti-Semitic incidents across the country in 2019 alone—the highest number on record since we started tracking incidents in 1979. [Some] 411 of these incidents occurred in K-12 schools, representing a 19 percent increase in school-based incidents relative to 2018,” he continued. “New Hampshire now has an opportunity to use the power of education to address this hate through this essential initiative for mandatory Holocaust and genocide education in the state.”
“Without understanding the history of genocides, students cannot fully grasp the lasting impact that biased actions can have on the community at large,” added Trestan. “Providing Holocaust and genocide education in New Hampshire schools will help to ensure that students are actively engaged in fighting hate in their communities, not passive bystanders.”
The ADL was joined by many organizations in supporting the bill, including the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester, Keene State University’s Cohen Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, the Jewish Federation of New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Council of Churches and the New Hampshire Institute for Civics Education.
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