LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (KHBS/KHOG) — A bill to require Holocaust education to be taught in Arkansas public schools is intended to be introduced in the state Senate education committee next week.
Currently, the Holocaust is not a required curriculum in Arkansas.
The bill was filed last Wednesday but Toby Klein said her committee has been working on it for months. She said Holocaust curriculum legislation is long overdue.
“It’s so important that we understand the implications of what hate can do and what discrimination can do,” Klein, the co-president of temple shalom of NWA, said.
Klein said more work needs to be done to eradicate anti-Semitism and white nationalism that exists in America. She said the images from the insurrection at the Capitol of a man wearing a camp Auschwitz sweatshirt proves just that.
“It’s important to reflect on what hate can do, on a large scale,” Klein said.
Klein helped draft a bill that would require students in grades K-12 to learn about the Holocaust in public schools.
A recent Claims Conference Study tested millennials and Generation Z students on holocaust knowledge. Arkansas ranked last in the country.
“Arkansas students ranked last in the nation, with about one in 10 Arkansas students believing they were the aggressors and that they committed the acts of violence instead of being the victims of the acts of violence,” Klein said.
Klein said this proposed legislation is a step in the right direction.
“It’s also sombering that it has taken until 2021 for this to be introduced, I acknowledge this has not been a part of the curriculum level until now and that is an indication that there is still more work needed to be done,” Klein said.
The bill does have bipartisan support with 50 co-sponsors from state senators and representatives.
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