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New Hampshire lawmakers send bill requiring Holocaust education to governor

BOSTON (JTA) – New Hampshire will mandate Holocaust and genocide prevention education under a bill passed overwhelmingly by its House of Representatives.

If Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican, signs the measure into law, New Hampshire would become the 14th state to require genocide prevention education in public schools, according to the Anti-Defamation League’s New England regional office, which supported the bill.

An Act Relative to Holocaust and Genocide Studies will also establish a commission to study best educational practices.

The bill will enable all students to acquire knowledge of civics and government, economics, history, and Holocaust and genocide education, according to state Sen. Jay Kahn, a Democrat and lead sponsor of the bill.

“Holocaust and genocide education is a fitting part of a school’s curriculum that enables students to participate in the democratic process and to make informed choices as responsible citizens,” Kahn said in a statement.

The House approved the bill this week in a 299-17 vote as part of several other pieces of legislation. The state Senate had passed the measure  unanimously in March.

In its most recent audit on anti Semitism, ADL documented 2,107 incidents across the country in 2019, the highest since the group began tracking incidents in 1979. Of the total, 411 of the incidents were in K-12 schools, representing a 19% increase from the previous year.

“The need for Holocaust and genocide education in our schools could not be more urgent,” Robert Trestan, the ADL’s New England regional director, said in a statement.