PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Providence Journal) — Two education bills — one teaching students about the Holocaust and other genocides and the other regarding suspensions and the collection of discipline data — are on their way to the state House of Representatives.
The bill on teaching about the Holocaust and several genocides was approved unanimously by the Senate, 36 to 0. It mandates in middle school or high school the teaching of the Holocaust and other genocides in, but not limited to, Armenia, Cambodia, Iraq, Rwanda and Darfur.
Seven states — California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania — have similar legislation. A current law in Rhode Island only encourages the awareness education.
If approved, teaching is required to begin in the 2017-18 school year. The House passed a duplicate bill in early May.
A coalition made up of members of the Armenian community, Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island State Council of Churches, the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island and the Sandra Bornstein Holocaust Education Center have been meeting since last fall to research and draft the legislation.