The House has given a final nod to House Bill 437, which would require middle school-and high school-students to learn about the Holocaust and other genocides.
The bill now goes to the Senate for its consideration.
Under HB 437, the State Board of Education would partner with the North Carolina Council on the Holocaust and the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching to integrate the study of the Holocaust and other genocides into English, social studies and other courses.
The three bodies would also develop a curriculum for a Holocaust Studies elective for middle schools and high schools.
HB 437 would be known as the “Gizella Abramson Holocaust Education Act.”
Abramson was a Polish-born Holocaust survivor who, according to her obituary, “charged teachers and students across North Carolina not to hate” during school visits across the state.
She died in 2011 at the age of 85.
Leaders of the state’s Jewish community have lobbied for the bill. They explained to House members earlier this month why it’s important to remember the Holocaust.
The [Holocaust] survivors are leaving us,” said Richard Schwartz, vice chairman of the North Carolina Council on the Holocaust. “Along with their departures, we need to make sure that we live up the mantra ‘Never, again.’ “
Schwartz added: “This bill would help us do that in North Carolina by requiring the teaching of not only the Holocaust but other genocides and make sure our students are not repeating the most horrible times of our history. We’re doomed to repeat history if we don’t teach it.”
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