|SAME AS||No Same As|
|Amd §801, add §801-b, Ed L|
|Provides specific requirements for a course of instruction relating to the Holocaust and genocide.|
Go to top
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 9710 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. LBD14945-02-0A. 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.