Holocaust education standards amended, advanced

A bill intended to ensure that Nebraska students receive education on the Holocaust and other acts of genocide advanced to the final round of debate April 7 after lawmakers amended it to clarify which events those lessons would cover.

Sen. Jen Day
Sen. Jen Day

LB888, introduced by Sen. Jen Day of Omaha, would require the State Board of Education to adopt academic content standards for education on the Holocaust and other acts of genocide as part of the state’s social studies standards.

Under an amendment introduced by Brainard Sen. Bruce Bostelman on select file, the board could adopt education standards related only to acts of genocide as recognized by the U.S. Congress or the United Nations as of Jan. 1, 2022.

Bostelman said those include acts of genocide in Armenia, Bosnia, Darfur and Rwanda as well as the genocide committed against the Yazidi by the Islamic State.

The amendment was adopted on a vote of 35-0.

Sen. Justin Wayne of Omaha offered an amendment, adopted 31-0, that would require the board also to adopt standards related to slavery, lynching and racial massacres in America.

Wayne said his proposal would ensure that students also learn about events in U.S. history that are not recognized as genocides, including the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and massacres of Native Americans.

After adopting the amendments, senators advanced LB888 to final reading by voice vote.

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