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February 2, 2021 11:09 am

Arkansas Lawmakers Consider Bill to Mandate Holocaust Education in Public Schools

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The state capitol of Arkansas. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. – Lawmakers in Arkansas have introduced a bill that would mandate Holocaust education to be taught in all public schools starting with the 2021-22 school year. The move comes a few months after a report by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany found that the state ranked last in Holocaust knowledge.

According to U.S. Millennial Holocaust Knowledge and Awareness Survey, only 17 percent of millennials and Gen Z residents in Arkansas meet Holocaust knowledge criteria,” defined as “definitely” having heard of the Holocaust, being able to name a concentration camp, death camp or ghetto and knowing that 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust.

The report, released back in September, was the first-ever survey that focused on all 50 states and aimed specifically at millennials and Gen Z—those between the ages of 18-39.

Nationally, the study found that 63 percent of all national survey respondents do not know that 6 million Jews were murdered and 36 percent thought that “2 million or fewer Jews” were killed during the Holocaust.

Only 31 percent of Arkansas residents survey knew how many Jews perished in the Holocaust.

The Arkansas law aims to generate an “understand of the causes, course and effects of the Holocaust.” It would also educate students on the “ramifications of bullying, bigotry, stereotyping and discrimination” while encouraging diversity and tolerance for all.

More than 30 state representatives and about 20 state senators are co-signers to the legislation, which has bipartisan support.

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