Legislation from United States of America House of Representatives

Never Again Education Act

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Never Again Education Act

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Referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.

Date: January 31, 2019

Content
Code:
116.HR.943
Subject:
Education
Never Again Education Act
Date: January 31, 2019 Official Title: To authorize the Secretary of Education to award grants to eligible entities to carry out educational programs about the Holocaust, and for other purposes.Short title This Act may be cited as the "Never Again Education Act".Findings The Congress finds the following:
  • (1) The United States has demonstrated a commitment to remembrance and education about the Holocaust through bilateral relationships and engagement in international organizations such as the United Nations (UN) and the International Holocaust Remembrance Association (IHRA); the United States works to promote Holocaust education as a means to understand the importance of democratic principles, use and abuse of power, and to raise awareness about the importance of genocide prevention today.
  • (2) The Congress has played a critical role in preserving the memory of the Holocaust and promoting awareness, including by authorizing the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as an independent establishment of the Federal Government to ensure that "the study of the Holocaust become part of the curriculum in every school system in the country", as well as by establishing a national Holocaust Remembrance Day in 1978.
  • (3) The Congress has gone on record in support of expanded Holocaust education to increase awareness about Holocaust history, counter prejudice and discrimination, and enhance efforts to teach its universal lessons about human behavior and societal cohesion.
  • (4) More than 70 years after the conclusion of World War II, with the decreasing number of eyewitnesses and growing distance of students and their families from this history, it is important to institutionalize education about the events of the Holocaust such as the Nazis' racist ideology, propaganda, and plan to lead a state to war and, with their collaborators, kill millionsincluding the systematic murder of 6,000,000 Jewish people; as well as the persecution and murder of millions of others in the name of racial purity, political, ideological, and behavioral grounds, among them Roma, the disabled, the Slavic people, Communists, Socialists, Jehovah's Witnesses, and homosexuals.
  • (5) As intolerance, antisemitism, bigotry, and all forms of hate are promoted by hate groups, Holocaust education provides a context in which to learn about the danger of what can happen when hate goes unchallenged and there is indifference in the face of the oppression of others; learning how and why the Holocaust happened is an important component of the education of citizens of the United States.
  • (6) Today, those who deny that the Holocaust occurred or distort the true nature of the Holocaust continue to find forums, especially online; this denial and distortion dishonors those who were persecuted, and murdered, making it even more of a national imperative to educate students in the United States so that they may explore the lessons that the Holocaust provides for all people, sensitize communities to the circumstances that gave rise to the Holocaust, and help youth be less susceptible to the falsehood of Holocaust denial and distortion and to the destructive messages of hate that arise from Holocaust denial and distortion.
  • (7) Currently, 8 States (California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island) require by law that schools teach students about the Holocaust; more schools and teachers can and should deliver quality Holocaust education.
  • (8) While there are thriving professional development programs across the United States delivered by Holocaust education centers, such as members of the Association of Holocaust Organizations, many students still have little exposure to education about the events of the Holocaust and its relevance to their lives, in part due to the many financial and logistical barriers to getting resources from Holocaust education centers to students in the classroom.
  • (9) The Federal Government, especially the Department of Education, has a role to play in promoting resources and training that can assist teachers and primary and secondary schools incorporate the study of the Holocaust into their curriculum, to help ensure that students have access to accurate and engaging historical information about the Holocaust, and the Department of Education is well-positioned to assist Holocaust education centers in overcoming many of the barriers to expanding Holocaust education, which will allow more students to learn the lessons of the Holocaust.Definitions In this Act:
  • (1) Eligible entity The term means
    • (A) a local educational agency (as defined in section 8101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 ());
    • (B) an organization eligible to receive funds under part B of title IV of such Act ( et seq.); or
    • (C) a secondary school (as defined in section 8101 of such Act ()), that is independent of any local educational agency.
  • (2) Antisemitism The term means a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.