PROVIDENCE, RI — The Rhode Island Senate on Wednesday approved a bill that would mandate the teaching of the Holocaust and other genocides, including the Armenian Genocide, in public middle schools and high schools across the state.
Providence Journal reported the bill passed unanimously and along with the Armenian Genocide would include curriculum on the Cambodia, Rwanda and Darfur genocides.
State Senator Gayle Goldin sponsored the bill, requiring school districts to teach students about genocide.
“Many schools have integrated some teachings about Holocaust and other genocides as the curriculum. This is really a formalization of that process and also making sure that we have set curriculum,” said State Sen. Gayle Goldin.
The legislation passed in both the House and Senate. If the governor sign’s the bill into law, each school district will decide whether to teach the subject in either middle or high school starting in the 2017 – 2018 school year; but every student in Rhode Island would receive extensive genocide education by high school graduation, a move parents we spoke to support.
A coalition made up of members of the Armenian community, Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island State Council of Churches, the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island and the Sandra Bornstein Holocaust Education Center have been meeting since last fall to research and draft the legislation.
Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo is expected to sign the bill sometime in the coming days.