Sen. Eric Berthel and Rep. Arthur O’Neill are co-sponsoring legislation to require the inclusion of Holocaust and genocide education and awareness in every school district’s social studies curriculum starting next school year.
The legislation was introduced after recent news reports about the significant increase in anti-Semitism and the rise in racial hatred throughout our country and the world. It is supported by the Jewish Federation of Connecticut (JFACT), which represents the seven Jewish Federations and their respective Jewish Service agencies across Connecticut.
“We have a responsibility and a duty to teach our children about the Holocaust and other genocides, so that we never again see these types of atrocities committed against mankind, for any reason whatsoever,” Sen. Berthel said. “This legislation would not result in any increased costs to our school districts. The education materials, curriculum and other resources are readily available from existing resources.”
“It is important to nurture a culture of respect and tolerance in our society and this legislation will make certain that future generations remember and learn from the awful lessons of our past,” Rep. O’Neill said. “To think that such an abhorrent event in our recent history isn’t being taught is chilling. We have a duty to honor those who perished while doing everything in our power to make sure we never forget and never repeat.”
“We along with our educational system have the obligation to remember and teach about these past and still occurring events so that we can effect change in future generations perceptions of hate and intolerance,” says JFACT Executive Director Michael Bloom.
“It is critical to give meaning to the words “never again”, that we insure that our young people are made aware of genocide. Only through teaching them can we make sure that these historical events will not be repeated in the future,” says JFACT Chairman of the Board Rob Lesser.
Senate Bill 452, An Act Concerning The Inclusion Of Holocaust And Genocide Education And Awareness In The Social Studies Curriculum, was recently approved unanimously by the legislature’s Education Committee. It now awaits approval in the State Senate. (www.cga.ct.gov/2018/TOB/s/2018SB-00452-R00-SB.htm)