Governor Baker signs genocide education bill

On December 2, 2021, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed legislation to require lessons on the Holocaust and other mass atrocities and to support school districts to develop lesson plans for middle and high school classrooms. Massachusetts follows nineteen other states that have already mandated the study of genocide in the school curriculum.

“By this bill being front and center, it provides our teachers and our curriculum directors with an opportunity to integrate human rights into the curriculum in the middle and high school. And human rights education is just central to understanding not only, again, what happened in the past in terms of comparative genocide, slavery, atrocities in the past, but I think it’s a conversation that many students want to have and many teachers need to have with their students,” said Chris Mauriello, who leads the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Salem State University. “This provides a framework for understanding themes that our students and our teachers need and want to talk about.”

The new law also creates a Genocide Education Trust Fund to help school districts develop curriculum and provide professional development courses for teachers.

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