Bill Promoting Holocaust Education Curriculum Passes House

Beverly Cantrell - March 15, 2022 2:07 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY – A bill to ensure Oklahoma students are taught the history and horror of the Holocaust – the systematic, state-sponsored persecution, and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its allies and collaborators – passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives on Monday.

House Bill 3720, authored by Reps. Mark McBride, R-Oklahoma City, and John Waldron, D-Tulsa, requires Holocaust education to be taught in all public schools in a manner that:

  1. Generates an understanding of the causes, course, and effects of the Holocaust.
  2. Develops dialogue with students on the ramifications of bullying, bigotry, stereotyping, and discrimination.
  3. Encourages tolerance of diversity.

“The horrors of the Holocaust resulted in the extermination of six million people of Jewish descent as well as many of their sympathizers during World War II,” McBride said. “And yet, it is proven that too few students in Oklahoma schools are taught or know about the Holocaust. With the war that is happening currently in Ukraine and that is threatening other parts of the world, this topic has never been more timely.”

The measure requires the State Board of Education to work in consultation with experts to develop and distribute curricula for students in grades 6 through 12.

Holocaust education has never been more important. As time passes and fewer Holocaust survivors and eyewitnesses remain alive, we face an alarming rise in Holocaust denial and antisemitism, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. 

“At a time when war once again rages in Europe, with all attendant human suffering, it is important to remind the next generation of the resilience and heroism of the Jewish community and other affected populations, and how our Greatest Generation liberated the Nazi death camps and ended that dark period of history,” Waldron said.

The legislation is now eligible to be heard in the Senate. McBride and Waldron encourage Oklahomans to reach out to state lawmakers and ask them to support HB3720. 

State Rep. Mark McBride, a Republican, serves District 53 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, which includes parts of Moore, Norman and Oklahoma City. John Waldron serves House District 77, which includes parts of Rogers and Tulsa County. 

 

 

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