Michigan Governor signs bill mandating Armenian Genocide education in public schools

Asbarez – The Governor of Michigan Rick Snyder (R) on Tuesday signed a bill mandating the teaching of the Armenian Genocide in the state’s public schools into law.

The Michigan House of Representatives in February  passed House Bill (HB-4493), mandating genocide education, including the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide, in Michigan public schools. The bill passed with a nearly unanimous vote. Late last month, the Michigan Senate also passed a complimentary measure paving the way for the governor’s signature.

“Beginning in the 2016-2017 school year, the board of a school district or board of directors of a public school academy shall ensure that the school district’s or public school academy’s social studies curriculum for grades 8 to 12 includes age- and grade-appropriate instruction about genocide, including, but not limited to, the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide. The legislature recommends a combined total of 6 hours of this instruction during grades 8 to 12,” reads the final version of the bill, which was signed into law on Tuesday.

Armenian churches, political, cultural and social organizations in Michigan came together to form the Armenian Genocide Education Committee and advanced the effort through the state’s legislature, Rep. Klint Kesto marshaling the effort in the Michigan House of Representatives.

“We see history repeating itself today in the Middle East with ISIS targeting and committing acts of genocide against Chaldean and Assyrian Christian communities and other religious minorities such as the Yazidis. It is imperative that our students study the history of genocide as it occurred to the Armenian people by the Ottoman Turks, as well as to the Jewish people at the hands of the Nazis. Never again should mean never again,” said Rep. Kesto in February following the passage of the House version of the bill.

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