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A09710 Summary:

Amd 801, add 801-b, Ed L
Provides specific requirements for a course of instruction relating to the Holocaust and genocide.
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A09710 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    February 6, 2020
        Introduced  by M. of A. STERN -- read once and referred to the Committee
          on Education
        AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation  to  requirements  for  a
          course of instruction relating to the Holocaust and genocide
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section 1. Subdivisions 1 and 3 of section 801 of the  education  law,
     2  as  amended  by  chapter 574 of the laws of 1997, are amended to read as
     3  follows:
     4    1. In order to promote a spirit of patriotic  and  civic  service  and
     5  obligation  and  to foster in the children of the state moral and intel-
     6  lectual qualities which are essential in preparing  to  meet  the  obli-
     7  gations of citizenship in peace or in war, the regents of The University
     8  of  the  State  of  New  York  shall prescribe courses of instruction in
     9  patriotism, citizenship, and human rights issues, with particular atten-
    10  tion to the study of the inhumanity of genocide, slavery (including  the
    11  freedom  trail  and  underground  railroad), the Holocaust, and the mass
    12  starvation in Ireland from 1845 to  1850,  in  accordance  with  section
    13  eight  hundred  one-b  of this article, to be maintained and followed in
    14  all the schools of the state. The boards of education  and  trustees  of
    15  the  several  cities  and  school  districts  of the state shall require
    16  instruction to be given in such courses, by the teachers employed in the
    17  schools therein. All pupils attending such  schools,  over  the  age  of
    18  eight years, shall attend upon such instruction.
    19    Similar  courses  of instruction shall be prescribed and maintained in
    20  private schools in the state, and all pupils in such schools over  eight
    21  years  of age shall attend upon such courses. If such courses are not so
    22  established and maintained in a private school, attendance upon instruc-
    23  tion in such school shall not  be  deemed  substantially  equivalent  to
    24  instruction  given  to  pupils  of like age in the public schools of the
    25  city or district in which such pupils reside.
    26    3. The regents shall determine the subjects to  be  included  in  such
    27  courses  of  instruction  in  patriotism,  citizenship, and human rights
    28  issues, with particular attention to the  study  of  the  inhumanity  of
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 9710                             2
     1  genocide,  slavery  (including  the  freedom trail and underground rail-
     2  road), the Holocaust, and the mass starvation in Ireland  from  1845  to
     3  1850,  in  accordance  with section eight hundred one-b of this article,
     4  and  in  the history, meaning, significance and effect of the provisions
     5  of the constitution of the United States, the  amendments  thereto,  the
     6  declaration  of  independence, the constitution of the state of New York
     7  and the amendments thereto, and the period of instruction in each of the
     8  grades in such subjects. They shall adopt rules providing for attendance
     9  upon such instruction and for such other matters  as  are  required  for
    10  carrying  into  effect  the  objects  and  purposes of this section. The
    11  commissioner shall be responsible for the enforcement  of  such  section
    12  and  shall  cause  to  be  inspected and supervise the instruction to be
    13  given in such subjects. The commissioner may, in his  discretion,  cause
    14  all  or  a  portion  of  the  public school money to be apportioned to a
    15  district or city to be withheld for failure of the school authorities of
    16  such district or city to provide instruction  in  such  courses  and  to
    17  compel attendance upon such instruction, as herein prescribed, and for a
    18  non-compliance with the rules of the regents adopted as herein provided.
    19    §  2.  The  education  law is amended by adding a new section 801-b to
    20  read as follows:
    21    § 801-b. Instruction relating to the  Holocaust  and  genocide.  Every
    22  public elementary school and high school shall include in its curriculum
    23  a unit of instruction studying the events of the Nazi atrocities of 1933
    24  to  1945. This period in world history is known as the Holocaust, during
    25  which six million Jewish people,  including  one  and  one-half  million
    26  Jewish  children, and millions of non-Jews were exterminated. One of the
    27  universal  lessons of the Holocaust is that national, ethnic, racial, or
    28  religious hatred can overtake any nation or society, leading to  calami-
    29  tous  consequences.  To  reinforce  that  lesson,  such curriculum shall
    30  include an additional unit of instruction studying other acts  of  geno-
    31  cide  across the globe.  This unit shall include, but not be limited to,
    32  the Armenian Genocide, the Famine-Genocide in Ukraine, and  more  recent
    33  atrocities  in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, and Sudan. The studying of this
    34  material is a reaffirmation of the commitment of free peoples  from  all
    35  nations to never again  permit the occurrence of another Holocaust and a
    36  recognition  that  crimes  of genocide continue to be perpetrated across
    37  the globe as they have been in the past and  to  deter  indifference  to
    38  crimes against humanity and human suffering wherever they may occur. The
    39  commissioner  may  prepare  and  make  available  to  all  school boards
    40  instructional materials which may be used as guidelines  for development
    41  of a unit of instruction under this  section;  provided,  however,  that
    42  each school  board shall itself determine the minimum amount of instruc-
    43  tion  time  which  shall qualify as a unit of instruction satisfying the
    44  requirements of this section. The cost for instructional materials is to
    45  be borne by the department.
    46    § 3. This act shall take effect on the first of July  next  succeeding
    47  the date on which it shall have become a law.
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