City Comptroller Scott Stringer and Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Flushing) on Thursday called on the State and City to expand Holocaust education and hate crime awareness and prevention in middle and high schools to combat discrimination and religious intolerance.
Stringer and Rozic proposed:
The State Education Department and the City Department of Education to survey all middle and high schools’ compliance with teaching Holocaust education in grades 8, 10, and 11, as called for in Rozic’s legislation, Assembly Bill A472, which she introduced a year ago.
Outreach and additional resources for schools concerning course work, instruction, and curriculum related to the Holocaust.
Teacher training to better equip educators to effectively teach about the Holocaust, hate, and discrimination.
Increased news literacy for all students to help them identify misinformation, including dangerous misinformation about the Holocaust.
“The egregious display of anti-Semitism during the attack on our nation’s Capitol and uptick in hate crimes around our city are a wake-up call that we must re-commit to educating our young people on the dangers of prejudice and bigotry,” Stringer said. “Schools are an important gateway for teaching civic values, and it is our duty to develop citizens who will stand up against discrimination and promote inclusion and acceptance. It starts in the classroom. That’s why the City should provide more outreach, resources, and training to make sure schools are equipped to effectively teach about the Holocaust, bias, and hate crimes. We cannot delay any longer to improve Holocaust education in our schools – our current students, future generations, and our society depends on it.”
Rozic added, “As we experience historic levels of anti-Semitism in New York and around the country, Never Again needs to be a call to action and not merely a platitude offered on Holocaust Remembrance Day. When study after study delineate embarrassing ignorance and misinformation about the Holocaust, we need to rectify the issue at the source—educational requirements. Ensuring that the Holocaust is properly taught in schools coupled with education on recognizing anti-Semitism and other hate crimes is a crucial first step in stopping dangerous conspiracy theories.”