Legislation Adds Holocaust Studies to Curriculum

In Olympia, the lawmakers OK’d a bipartisan bill making Holocaust studies a part of the curriculum in Washington middle, junior high, and high schools. Dan Frizzell from the Washington State House Democratic Caucus has more.

SENN: “We talk about other human beings as animals, so we put them into cages. We’re dehumanizing them. We are making it easy to discriminate, to hate, to be violent against other people, and that is how it starts.”

Representative Tana Senn was one of several speakers Thursday in Olympia when the state House agreed that every post-elementary public school in Washington will be, quoting here, “strongly encouraged” to include instruction on the Holocaust. Current policy suggests that high schools cover the Nazi atrocity that killed some eight million European Jews, ethnic Poles, Romani, and others between 1941 and 1945. Senn, a Democrat from Mercer Island whose great-grandmother and grandmother were Holocaust survivors, said the rationale for expanding Holocaust awareness instruction is simple.

SENN: “We know that history repeats itself.  And so if we don’t teach young people about the devastating impacts and consequences of the Holocaust, then we are unfortunately bound to repeat it.”

The Holocaust education bill has now been unanimously approved in both legislative chambers and is expected to be signed into law soon by Governor Jay Inslee. In Olympia, I’m Dan Frizzell.