(Albany, NY) - Today, Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) helped pass legislation (S.6648) through the NYS Senate to require instruction at public and private schools about symbols of hate like the swastika and noose.
"As we see acts of anti-Semitism continue, we have to be looking to address root causes," said Senator David Carlucci. "This legislation brings age appropriate instruction about hate symbols like swastikas and nooses into classroom education. Hate is a learned behavior, and we can teach against it."
The legislation requires instruction on hate symbols be part of 6th-12th grade curriculums as determined by the Board of Regents.
Hate crimes have been on the rise across the country, and in 2018, the FBI logged more than 7,000 cases. Nearly half of all hate crimes based on race are against Black individuals. The Anti-Defamation League found from 2016-2017, New York State saw anti-Semitic acts go up 90 percent. In 2019, the New York City Police Department released data showing more than half of all reported hate crimes in the city were anti-Jewish.
In Carlucci's district in 2019, a swastika was found at a Nyack Starbucks on a bathroom wall and a swastika and racial slur were found in a bathroom at Ossining High School. Following the later incident, the Village of Ossining Board of Trustees passed a resolution in support of this legislation.
Sadly, acts of mass violence motivated by hate have also persisted. In Monsey, a man wielding a machete attacked Jewish people at a Hanukkah celebration at a rabbi's home. Five people were injured and 72-year-old Josef Neumann later died of his injuries. Carlucci said we must address hate before it can manifest into mass violence like this.
"The legislation takes a proactive approach to the problem and starts to address anti-Semitism and racism early in schools," said Carlucci.
The bill now must pass in the Assembly to head to the Governor's desk.