LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A new law designed to examine and potentially overhaul Holocaust and genocide education in Nevada is slated to take effect on July 1.
The bill, passed by the Legislature with unanimous support in 2021 and signed into law by Gov. Steve Sisolak, creates a commission of experts and community partners to find out what is being taught about some of the most heinous acts in human history, what is missing from that education, what resources school's need, and what training teachers should receive to teach the material in an accurate and age-appropriate way.
The commission will look beyond education exclusively on the Holocaust to include teaching on genocides in Armenia, Rwanda, Darfur, Cambodia, Guatemala, and more.
The Anti-Defamation League Nevada pushed for the bill in the 81st session arguing proper education on these topics could help children identify hate and respond to it inappropriate ways.
Director Jolie Brislin says even if the topics can be hard to swallow its important kids learn about the history to ensure it never happens again.
"This shouldn't always be easy, right?" she said. "We need to be learning. We need our students to understand, to feel, to have empathy, and to have that understanding. So, when they do see hate they speak up, they stand up, they share facts, and they're allies to other communities."
The Anti-Defamation League reports 22% of all millennial Americans have never heard about the Holocaust, and 35% of all Americans haven't heard about the Armenian genocide.
Brislin says ignorance of these periods in history has contributed to the rise in hate groups in the United States.