Senate Bill 664, which mandates the teaching of Holocaust education in all Oregon high schools both public and private, passed the House Tuesday, May 28. It is expected to be signed into law by the governor.
The Advocate recently reported on the state of Holocaust education curriculum in the Corvallis school district, which was found to be taught only in “pockets.” It was also discovered that the district does not have a formal curriculum. Recent studies show awareness about the events of the Holocaust are fading from the memories of younger generations.
SB 664 would include Holocaust and genocide education as part of the social studies requirement for high school graduation in Oregon. It would make Oregon the 11th state to adopt this kind of a curriculum statewide.
Hillsboro resident and Holocaust survivor Alter Wiener, a chief proponent of the bill, tragically did not live to see its passage.
“Learning about the Holocaust is not just a chapter in recent history,” Wiener said in public testimony in September 2018, “[It is] a derived lesson how to be more tolerant, more loving and that hatred is, eventually, self-destructive.”
By Ian MacRonald