By Michael Abramson, Chairman, NC Council on the Holocaust
The North Carolina Council on the Holocaust is pleased to report the passage of the Holocaust Education Act. The Holocaust Act was part of the composite $25.9 billion state budget passed by both chambers of the North Carolina General Assembly and signed by Governor Cooper in November.
The Holocaust Council took the lead in shepherding the bill through the state legislature.
The Holocaust Education Act will assign responsibility to the North Carolina Council on the Holocaust, the North Carolina Board of Education, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, and the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching to create a Holocaust curriculum for middle and high school students. Money has been allocated to write the curriculum. Funding is also available for one year to train teachers to teach the curriculum.
The Holocaust Council has been training North Carolina teachers to teach the Holocaust through in-person teacher workshops since 1990. The council initiated teacher webinars beginning in the fall semester of 2019. Since 1990, more than 10,000 teachers have been trained by the Holocaust Council.
Michael Abramson, chairman of the North Carolina Council on the Holocaust said, “What is most important to me is my sincere hope that Holocaust teaching will change a student ‘bystander’ into an ‘upstander’ and will turn a student away from pro-Nazi literature and propaganda.”
North Carolina is the 21st state in the country to mandate Holocaust education in the public schools.
“This is a very momentous event for Holocaust education and awareness in North Carolina,” Abramson concluded. “We are the only organization with a mandate to educate all public school teachers and students on the Holocaust. We on the Council have many challenges ahead, such as how to continue our teacher training for decades to come. Funding is always an issue. I have no doubt that the educators engaged by the Holocaust Council will do an excellent job developing the curriculum and implementing the training.”
For more information on the North Carolina Council on the Holocaust, please access www.dpi.nc.gov/holocaust-council and https://ncholocaustcouncilworkshops.org.