Senate Passes SB 727, Requiring Holocaust and Genocide Education

Contact Name: Sara Persechino

Phone: (603) 271-3479

Email: Sara.Persechino@leg.state.nh.us

CONCORD - Today, the Senate passed SB 727-FN-L, 24-0. This bill, introduced by Senator Jay Kahn (D-Keene), would make genocide education part of the curriculum in New Hampshire schools. The bill as amended will add four words to New Hampshire’s criteria for an adequate education, “Holocaust and genocide education.” The amended standard in RSA 193-2 would then read, “an adequate education shall provide all students with the opportunity to acquire...Knowledge of civics and government, economics, history, and Holocaust and genocide education to enable students to participate in the democratic process and to make informed choices as responsible citizens.”

After the vote, prime sponsor Senator Jay Kahn (D-Keene) issued the following statement:

“75 years after the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp prison 2/3 of millennials don’t know what Auschwitz is and 25 % never heard of the Holocaust. When the survivors are gone, how will we impart to students historical facts about the Holocaust and other genocides and how intolerance, bigotry, antisemitism, and national, ethnic, racial, and religious hatred and discrimination and efforts that demonize or dehumanize any part of our communities have evolved in the past and today still evolve, into genocide and mass violence.

We heard from the Jewish Federation of NH President Sarit Itenberg that 30 NH incidents of antisemitism were reported to the Anti-Defamation League between 2017 and 2019, including in Manchester, Jaffrey, Portsmouth, Concord and Keene. Schools need a systematic approach to incorporating Holocaust and genocide studies into the school curriculum standards. SB 727 addresses that.

The goal of this standard is imparting knowledge to enable students “to participate in the democratic process and to make informed choices as responsible citizens.” Holocaust and genocide education is a fitting part of a school’s curriculum that enables student to participate in the democratic process and to make informed choices as responsible citizens.

I am grateful for the support of New Hampshire students, teachers, religious leaders, and my colleagues in the Senate for their support and look forward to moving this important legislation forward.”

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