Senator Sean Ryan: New Law Will Improve Holocaust Education In New York Schools

From left: Elizabeth Schram, Director - Holocaust Resource Center of Buffalo, Senator Sean Ryan, Assemblymember Nily Rozic, June 3, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FROM SENATOR RYAN - 8/10/22

SENATOR SEAN RYAN: NEW LAW WILL IMPROVE HOLOCAUST EDUCATION IN NEW YORK SCHOOLS

Bill to Ensure New York Schools are Meeting Holocaust Education Standards Signed into Law by Governor

BUFFALO Today, August 10, 2022, New York State Senator Sean Ryan commended Governor Kathy Hochul for signing into law a bill to improve Holocaust education in New York schools. Senator Ryan co-sponsored the bill, which was introduced by Senator Anna Kaplan and Assemblymember Nily Rozic.

The new law requires the Commissioner of Education to create a survey to assess the state of Holocaust education in New York in order to ensure that students are being taught about the Holocaust as required by existing State law. Any school district whose Holocaust education curriculum does not meet the state’s standards will be required to provide a corrective action plan. Last June, Senator Ryan and Assemblymember Rozic visited the Holocaust Resource Center of Buffalo in Amherst to highlight the importance of passing this legislation.

A 2020 study by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany documented a concerning lack of knowledge about the Holocaust among New Yorkers ages 18-39. The study found that 28% of New Yorkers in that age group believed the Holocaust is a myth or has been exaggerated and that 60% did not know that 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust. Even more concerning, New York led all states with 19% of respondents who believed Jews caused the Holocaust.

Senator Sean Ryan said, “In recent years, New York has seen an increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes while young people in our state have demonstrated an unacceptably poor understanding of what happened during the Holocaust. Ignorance is the root of bigotry, and these facts are no doubt connected. Ensuring that schools are following the Holocaust education standards we already have in place in New York is an important first step to begin addressing these troubling trends. I thank Senator Kaplan and Assemblymember Rozic for their work introducing and advocating for this important bill, and I thank Governor Hochul for signing it into law.”

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