State Watch

Oregon to require schools to teach about Holocaust

Getty Images

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) on Monday signed into law a bill that requires the state’s public schools to teach about the Holocaust and other genocides, The Associated Press reported. 

“Today more than ever, we need the learning opportunities that a bill like this will bring to our schools,” Brown said at a signing ceremony.

Schools will reportedly be required to “prepare students to confront the immorality of the Holocaust, genocide, and other acts of mass violence and to reflect on the causes of related historical events” starting the 2020-2021 school year.

Public schools will also be required to encourage cultural diversity and stress the importance of protecting international human rights, according to the AP report.{mosads}

Claire Sarnowski, a 14-year-old, introduced the bill after she was inspired by a 92-year-old Holocaust survivor named Alter Wiener. The pair struck up a friendship years ago after Sarnowski, then a fourth-grader, heard Wiener speak about his experience in the Nazi concentration camps during a lecture, the news service noted. 

“Learning about genocide teaches students the ramifications that come with prejudice of any kind in society,” she said.

The bill, sponsored by Oregon state Sen. Rob Wagner (D), was a response to a rise in anti-Semitic incidents across the country, the AP noted.

The Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) annual audit released in April found that anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. have doubled since 2015.

The report revealed a total of 1,879 attacks against Jews and Jewish institutions in 2018. The figure was down slightly from 2017, but still near historic levels and nearly double the number of attacks that were recorded in 2015, according to the ADL.

Several other states — California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island — have signed laws requiring Holocaust education.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D), a 2020 Democratic presidential primary candidate, signed a bill in April “strongly encouraging” the state’s schools to teach students about the Holocaust.

Tags Genocide Holocaust education Jay Inslee Kate Brown Oregon
See all Hill.TV See all Video