We're Not Standing By - Legislation and Action

Friday, March 15, 2019

In my 20 years working with the Holocaust Center for Humanity, I have never seen so many incidents of antisemitism and bias in our schools and communities. The Center is in a unique position to make a difference.

Studies show that Holocaust education effectively teaches students about antisemitism, bigotry, and the consequences of indifference. We are taking steps to ensure that every student in our state has access to quality Holocaust education. Working with the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle’s Director of Government and Community Relations, we drafted a bill to support Holocaust education in Washington State.

In February, two teachers, two Holocaust survivors, a student, and I went to Olympia to testify in front of the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee. You can view our testimonies here.

I’m proud to announce that this week, the Senate unanimously passed Holocaust Education Bill SB5612. If passed by the House, this bill will create a partnership between the Holocaust Center for Humanity and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). Together, we will develop best practices and guidelines for teaching about the Holocaust and genocide.

In addition, our Center will conduct professional development for educators throughout the state, teaching them how to apply these new standards. After two years, our Center will report on the effectiveness of this legislation and make recommendations for the future of Holocaust education in Washington State.

Please look for my next email asking you to sign on in support of House Bill 1624.


With gratitude,

Dee Simon
Baral Family Executive Director, Holocaust Center for Humanity

 

Link to tracking current legislation 

Testimonies to Senate Early Learning K-12 Education Committee

Studies on the impact of Holocaust education:

Claims Conference Study - Holocaust Knowledge and Awareness 2018

IHRA Research in Teaching and Learning about the Holocaust 2017

A Randomized Controlled Trial of Professional Development for Interdisciplinary Civic Education: Impacts on Humanities Teachers and their Students 2015

How Does Education about the Holocaust Advance Global Citizenship Education? UNESCO, 2017