Showing posts with label genocide. Show all posts
Showing posts with label genocide. Show all posts

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Boston Globe: "A bill heading to Governor Charlie Baker’s desk would require Mass. school districts to teach about genocides"

Jeffrey N. Roy (@jeffroy) tweeted Sat, Nov 27, 2021:
"Bill requires teaching students about the history of genocide and human rights issues and sets up a Genocide Education Trust Fund to help build the new curricula. "
https://t.co/GyUUOwAxu9 via @BostonGlobe

"A bill that could be just days from becoming law in Massachusetts would require school districts to teach middle and high school students about the history of genocide and human rights issues and set up a Genocide Education Trust Fund to help build the new curricula.

The bill was passed by the state Legislature on Wednesday and sent to Governor Charlie Baker for his signature.

Massachusetts does not currently require schools to teach students about the Holocaust or other genocides, but the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education offers optional curriculum frameworks. Districts get to choose which materials and teaching approaches to use.

“It’s quite obvious that killing millions of people is wrong, but if that’s so clear-cut, why do people continue to do it? If it’s self-evident, why do so many people continue to commit genocides?” said State Representative Jeff Roy, lead sponsor of the House bill. “At a bottom line, we have to give and arm our students with the knowledge that they need to recognize the warning signs and feel empowered to prevent genocides in the future.”

Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)


Massachusetts does not currently require schools to teach students about the Holocaust or other genocides.CRAIG F. WALKER/GLOBE STAFF/THE BOSTON GLOBE
Massachusetts does not currently require schools to teach students about the Holocaust or other genocides.CRAIG F. WALKER/GLOBE STAFF/THE BOSTON GLOBE


Thursday, November 25, 2021

Legislature Passes Genocide Education Bill

Legislature Passes Genocide Education Bill

LEGISLATURE PASSES GENOCIDE EDUCATION BILL

Establishes the Genocide Education Trust Fund to educate students on the history of genocide

The Massachusetts Legislature on Wednesday passed An Act concerning genocide education to provide education to middle and high school students on the history of genocide and to promote the teaching of human rights issues.

"While past crimes against humanity cannot be undone, we must learn from them," stated Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). "After a rise in anti-Semitic incidences in our state and a noticeable decline in young people's understanding of the specifics or the seriousness of the Holocaust, it was clear something must be done. As a Jewish woman and daughter of a World War II veteran who liberated the Buchenwald Concentration Camp, I believe it is our responsibility to ensure we educate our children on the many instances of genocide throughout history so that it is never repeated. I am grateful to Senator Rodrigues and his staff for their hard work on this legislation, to my Senate colleagues for their continued support, and to Speaker Mariano and our partners in the House for advancing this important legislation."

"As a former teacher, I recognize and value the importance of teaching about acts of genocide in an effort to stem bigotry and intolerance. This Genocide Education bill puts Massachusetts on a path to do exactly that," said House Speaker Ronald J. Mariano (D-Quincy). "By requiring that all middle and high schools teach about the history of genocide, and how hatred and prejudice can lead to violence, we're taking a necessary step in the pursuit of increased education about the atrocities of the past, and how to avoid them in the future. I would like to thank chairs Michlewitz, Peisch and Roy for all of their work with the advocates to produce an impactful bill that will ensure meaningful change."

"With today's passage, the Legislature has taken decisive action to make sure young people are meaningfully educated about the history of genocide and stand ready to oppose its root causes, now and forever," said Senator Michael J. Rodrigues (D-Westport), Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. "Thank you to Senate President Spilka for her leadership and strong support, Senator Lewis for his commitment to this matter, my respective Senate colleagues, and our partners in the House for boldly standing with us to say that we will never forget the lessons of the past and will stand against the forces of division and ignorance. I would also like to thank my constituent, Dr. Ron Weisberger, the ADL, JCRC, MASC, MASS and the dedicated advocates for their support and tremendous efforts. Thanks to their collaboration with the legislature, Massachusetts will use the power of education to oppose hate in our communities, broaden public awareness, and shape our collective future."

The bill requires middle schools and high schools in the Commonwealth to include instruction on the history of genocide. This most recent iteration of the legislation comes as incidences of hate and anti-Semitism are on the rise across the country, with several incidents reported in Massachusetts over the past year.

In 2020, a widely reported survey commissioned by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, which gauged Holocaust knowledge among millennials and Generation Z populations, found that 63 percent of survey respondents in the United States did not know six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust. The survey also found that nearly half were unfamiliar with Nazi concentration camps like Auschwitz. Massachusetts does not currently require Holocaust education or other genocides as part of classroom curriculum.

"It is shocking how many young people today have never heard of the Auschwitz concentration camp, the Holocaust, or other heinous genocides perpetrated in the past," said Senator Jason Lewis (D-Winchester), Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Education. "This important legislation will ensure that more students understand the history of genocide so that it never happens again. I'm grateful to Senator Michael Rodrigues for championing this legislation and to all of the educators and advocates who have worked to see this bill passed."

"While racial, ethnic, national, and religious violence has existed throughout the past and continues in the present, recent events suggest our collective knowledge of some of history's worst atrocities is waning. It is our responsibility to take steps to ensure we do not forget the past so that we can continue to build a better future, while still respecting the ability of individual school districts to shape the curricula of their students," said Representative Alice Peisch (D-Wellesley), House Chair of the Joint Committee on Education. "I'd like to thank Speaker Mariano, Chairman Michlewitz, and Chairman Roy for their leadership on this critical piece of legislation."

"With this law, we can arm our students with the knowledge they will need to recognize the warning signs and feel empowered to prevent genocides in the future," Representative Jeffrey Roy (D-Franklin), lead sponsor of the House bill and House Chair of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy. "Making genocide education a mandatory topic for teaching in our schools is a reaffirmation of the commitment of free peoples from all nations to never again permit the occurrence of another genocide, and to deter indifference to crimes against humanity and human suffering wherever they occur."

This bill would establish a Genocide Education Trust Fund to promote and educate middle and high school students on the history of genocide. Funds in this trust would be used for the instruction of middle and high school students on the history of genocide and ensure the development of curricular materials, as well as to provide professional development training to assist educators in the teaching of genocide.

The legislation requires each school district to annually file a description of their lesson plan and programs related to genocide education with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). The bill also establishes a competitive grant program that schools, and districts can apply to for additional programming support.

An Act concerning genocide education now moves to the governor's desk.

Friday, November 19, 2021

Genocide Education Act Passes House of Representatives

The Massachusetts House of Representatives passed the Genocide Education Act by a vote of 157-2. The bill will require public schools to teach the history of genocides and create a fund to help support the new curriculum. When signed into law, Massachusetts will become the 20th state to have adopted mandatory Holocaust and genocide education.

This bill would require each school district to file lesson plans and program descriptions related to genocide education every year with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  The bill’s Genocide Education Trust Fund will help schools and districts develop curriculum and host training or professional development courses for educators.

This legislation demonstrates the legislature’s commitment to providing schools across the Commonwealth with access to resources to implement genocide education programs. It provides the resources students need to recognize and  stand  up to  injustice before it  takes  root and to recognize and fight hate in their communities.

“Massachusetts has always been at the forefront of human rights issues, and today, with the passage of this bill, we can do it again. We can arm our students with the knowledge they will need to recognize the warning signs and feel empowered to prevent genocides in the future,” said Rep. Jeffrey N. Roy (D-Franklin).  “Making genocide education a mandatory topic for teaching in our schools is a reaffirmation of the commitment of free peoples from all nations to never again permit the occurrence of another genocide, and to deter indifference to crimes against humanity and human suffering wherever they occur.”

State Representative Jeffrey N. Roy (D-Franklin) first filed a genocide education bill in 2013, which called for genocide to be included in social sciences and history frameworks.  It was successful in changing frameworks and it lead to the inclusion of genocide education in social science and history frameworks.  Unfortunately, over the past few years with memories of prior atrocities fading, there has a rising tide of hatred and anti-Semitic incidents requiring a legislative solution.

A recent survey found 22 percent of American millennials have never heard of the Holocaust and 66 percent of youth 18-34 didn't recognize the word Auschwitz. In Massachusetts, 35 percent of young adults didn't know what Auschwitz was and half didn't know that 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust. 

The bill, which had over 100 cosponsors, was supported by ADL New England, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston, the Armenian National Committee of Eastern Massachusetts - ANC of EM, Facing History and Ourselves, the Committee for Holodomor Genocide Awareness (https://ukrainegenocide.com), the Genocide Education Project, and over 60 coalition members. 

You can find a link to Rep. Roy’s floor remarks at: https://youtu.be/fOQLJ5NiDz8 

The text of the Legislation can be found -> https://malegislature.gov/Bills/192/S2557




Rep. Roy’s floor remarks
Rep. Roy’s floor remarks


Friday, July 31, 2020

Senate Passes Genocide Education Bill

SENATE PASSES GENOCIDE EDUCATION BILL
Establishes the Genocide Education Trust Fund to educate students on the history of genocide.

The Massachusetts State Senate on Thursday, July 30, 2020, passed An Act concerning genocide education to educate middle and high school students on the history of genocide and to promote the teaching of human rights issues.

"To forge a more just future, our next generation must be educated on the tragic history of the Holocaust and other instances of genocide," stated Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). "The importance of this bill cannot be overstated, and I say this as a Jewish woman and the daughter of a World War II veteran who helped liberate the victims of Nazi concentration camps. I am very thankful to Senators Rodrigues, Lewis and Creem for their advocacy on this issue and my colleagues for their unanimous support."

"Seventy-five years after the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camp, we, as a society, continue to grapple with the root causes of hatred and discrimination. With the passage of this bill today, we take a critically important step to ensuring our students are educated on the Holocaust, the grave mistakes of the past, and stand ready to root out the injustices of the future," said Senator Michael J. Rodrigues (D-Westport), Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. "As the forces of fake news, division, and ignorance continue to march on, I applaud Senate President Spilka and my colleagues in the Senate for standing up to say that we will never forget the lessons of the past. I also thank my constituent, Dr. Ron Weisberger, and the advocates for their urgent efforts to ensure we use the power of education to address hate, broaden public awareness, and shape our collective future."

According to a 2018 article in the New York Times, 31% of Americans and 41% of millennials believe 2 million Jews or fewer were murdered in the Holocaust while 41% of Americans and 66% of millennials do not know what Auschwitz is. This bill would establish a Genocide Education Trust Fund to promote and educate middle and high school students on the history of genocide. Funds in this trust would be used to encourage the instruction of middle and high school students on the history of genocide and ensure the development of curricular materials, as well as to provide professional development training to assist educators in the teaching of genocide.

"It is shocking how many young people today have never heard of the Auschwitz concentration camp, the Holocaust, or other heinous genocides perpetrated in the past," said Senator Jason Lewis (D-Winchester), Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Education. "This important legislation will ensure that more students understand the history of genocide so that it never happens again. I'm grateful to Senator Rodrigues for championing this legislation and to all of the educators and advocates who have worked to see this bill passed."

"Students need to be educated about the causes of genocide if we are to ensure that history is not repeated," said Majority Leader Senator Cynthia Stone Creem (D-Newton).  "Learning about the paths that various societies and cultures have taken—from bigotry and hatred all the way to expulsion and genocide—will help future generations avoid this tragedy."

"As the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor, genocide education legislation is personal for me," said Senator Becca Rausch (D – Needham). "We are in a difficult moment in this country, as our nation and our Commonwealth grapple with significant upticks in blatant demonstrations of hate. Hate leads to devastation and destruction. We combat hate and ignorance with education and meaningful dialogue. I am proud and grateful that the Senate passed the genocide education bill today, and particularly grateful to Senator Rodrigues for his leadership and compassion."

"We congratulate Senate President Spilka, Senate Ways and Means Chair Rodrigues, and our partners in government for coming together to ensure that students in our state will learn invaluable lessons about the consequences of hate and bigotry, from the most painful parts of our history," said Aaron Agulnek, Director of Government Affairs for the Jewish Community Relations Council. "We cannot simply say 'Never Again' if we do not also commit to educating the next generation by giving them the resources they need to recognize and stand up to injustice before it takes root."

"We appreciate the leadership of Senate President Spilka, Senate Ways and Means Chair Rodrigues, and their legislative colleagues for taking a critical step toward ensuring that Massachusetts public school students receive Holocaust and genocide education prior to high school graduation," said Robert Trestan, ADL New England Regional Director. "The need for Holocaust and genocide education in K-12 schools could not be more urgent. Massachusetts now has an opportunity to use the power of education to address hate through this essential initiative for Holocaust and genocide education in the Commonwealth."

The bill requires each school district to annually file a description of their lesson plan and programs related to genocide education with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). The bill also establishes a competitive grant program that schools and districts can apply to for additional programming support.

An Act concerning genocide education now moves to the Massachusetts House of Representatives for consideration.
Senate Passes Genocide Education Bill
Senate Passes Genocide Education Bill

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

“This bill is not just about our past, it’s about our future”

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Days after the 2016 election, a swastika was discovered painted on the side of Mount Tom in Easthampton, alongside anti-Semitic and pro-Donald Trump messages.

Henia Lewin, a survivor of the Holocaust who lives in Amherst, described it as a “wakeup call” and the motivation she needed to share her story.

Lewin was one-and-a-half years old in 1941 when she was smuggled by her parents in a suitcase out of a Lithuanian ghetto set up that summer by invading Nazi forces. She now tells her survival story to students and teachers around the state, hoping that by educating young people about what happened in Europe she can discourage hatred and prejudice in the future.

“I have found that people don’t know about the Holocaust, not just kids in school and college students, but even adults,” Lewis told the Joint Committee on Education on Monday."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)
https://www.milforddailynews.com/news/20191007/franklins-roy-behind-genocide-education-bill

For additional details on this proposed legislation
https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/H566