Genocide education: An essential part of curricula in Massachusetts?

At a public hearing in Massachusetts, several groups from Massachusetts and the US such as the Genocide Education Project, Anti-Defamation League came together to advocate and testify in favor of a new bill. According to the bill, it will become mandatory for the students of the state to be taught about the different and heinous acts of mass murder in history.

The curricula should include, but not only limited to, the Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide, Pontian-Greek Genocide and the latest incidents in the African continent. It is up to the school districts when they feel the students are about the right age to be taught about these issues. As per the bill, at the right time, it is the responsibility of the district to include the topics in the high school or middle school curriculum.

It is a shame that we haven’t recognized genocide at a basic level and this promotes others to continue violence, as per a professor at Clark University. Teaching subjects like moral value when it is convenient is not right. It should be seen that moral values taught at school shape up the future.

Not talking about genocide has increased the hate crimes

The Armenian genocide should be one of the prime topics taught to the students. Not talking about it enough gives the culprits more authority to deny those heinous crimes and power to do so again in the future.

It is important for the new generation to understand how hatred and bigotry got the better of everybody, resulting in these atrocities like mass murders. A Holocaust memorial in Boston was vandalized in 2017, which was another act of hate crime. Similarly, the last year’s Pittsburgh Synagogue shooting was also an act of antisemitism.

States like Rhode Island, Michigan, and California have already started educating their children about the Armenian Genocide. Holocaust survivors, genocide scholars, students, teachers and leaders from different religious backgrounds have come together to tell their views in the favor of the bill.

As far as the state of Massachusetts is concerned, there has been an increase of almost 10% hate crimes. When people are not educated and they become intolerant, such incidents start happening. However, the Turkish-American people in America were against the passing of the bill especially when their government can repeatedly deny committing any genocide between 1914 to 1923.