February 26, 2020

Wisconsin state assembly passes bill mandating Holocaust education

Wisconsin State Assembly
Wisconsin State Assembly

The Wisconsin State Assembly has voted unanimously this week to pass legislation that would make it mandatory for middle schools and high schools in the state to teach students about the Holocaust and other genocides. 

Assembly Bill 816 passed the legislative chamber in a 98-0 vote on Tuesday. One member of the Assembly did not cast a vote in favor or against the bill.

The bill now heads to the state Senate for consideration. If passed by the upper change and signed into law by Gov. Tony Evers (D), the bill would require schools in the state to incorporate teachings about the Holocaust and other genocides into their social studies curriculum.

“This bill requires the state superintendent of public instruction to incorporate the Holocaust and other genocides into the model academic standards for social studies and to develop model curricula and instructional materials on the same subject,” an analysis of the bill by the Legislative Reference Bureau states.

“Under the bill, in developing the model curricula and instructional materials, the state superintendent must consult with an organization in this state that provides Holocaust education programs to public and private schools and offers educational tools and training to teachers and with a state agency in another state that has developed model curricula on the Holocaust,” the analysis continues.

“Finally, the bill requires a school board, independent charter school, and private school participating in a parental choice program to include instruction on the Holocaust and other genocides in its respective curriculum at least once in grades 5 to 8 and once in grades 9 to 12,” it adds.

If the bill is signed into law, Wisconsin will join 11 other states in requiring schools to teach students about the Holocaust, according to The Associated Press.

Oregon is one of the most recent states to enact such legislation after a similar measure was also met with unanimous support from state lawmakers last year.

Source: The Hill