BOSTON (SHNS) – All middle and high schools in Massachusetts would be required to teach students about the history of genocide under a bill that cleared the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Thursday.
The committee recommended passage of legislation outlining genocide education in Massachusetts (S 2525) and of another bill (S 2502) related to licensing and schooling for Bay State military families. In addition to requiring the topic be taught in both middle and high schools, the genocide education bill — which Senate President Karen Spilka named a priority in March after Duxbury High School players used Holocaust-related terminology to call plays — would create a trust fund to help pay for developing the curriculum.
The other bill that moved through the committee aims to make licensing processes easier for loved ones of servicemembers, according to a summary committee staff provided. The Commissioner of Education would need to issue temporary teaching licenses to spouses of the armed forces or National Guard who hold a teaching certificate in another state, and other state licensing agencies would need to expedite issuing licenses and certificates to military spouses.
Schools could also be designated as “Purple Star Campuses” if they take steps such as establishing a military liaison position and offering professional development for staff who work with military-connected students. Republican Sen. Ryan Fattman reserved his rights on the genocide education bill. No other senators on the committee reserved their rights or opposed either bill.