New Senate Bill Would Require Schools To Teach About The Holocaust

May 25, 2012

Pennsylvania State Senator Anthony Williams (D-Philadelphia) has introduced a bill that would require all Pennsylvania school districts to teach students in grades 6-12 about the Holocaust. The Bill would also require schools to teach about genocide, human rights violations, anti-Semitism, racism, and the abridgement of civil rights.

Senator Williams said if today's youth is not educated about this event, it could pave the way for something similar to happen in the future.

"The parallels between what happened in Nazi Germany and what is beginning to happen globally, and certainly in the United States, is that those of us who are at the highest level of education — that means at universities — were being taught a certain perspective," Williams said.

The senator also said topics such as genocide, and other serious issues related to the Holocaust could be made age-appropriate if the material is taught in the right manner.

"You're learning about the presidents, you're learning about other countries, you're learning about all that other stuff, so certainly you can talk about the consequence and the impact of how one rules, why democracy is important and what a voice in that democracy can mean, in the good and in the bad," Williams said.

School districts must provide programs or materials for their instructors so that they can learn to properly teach the subject matter to students. However, school budgets are not expected to be impacted as a result of this requirement.

The bill also reads that in addition to providing resources for teachers in public schools, the Department of Education must also make available guidelines, training, or any other materials to nonpublic schools upon request.