The Texas Senate passed Senate Bill (SB) 1828 during the 86th legislative session, requiring all public schools to observe Holocaust Remembrance Week yearly, beginning with the 2019-2020 school year.
Holocaust Remembrance Week’s intent is to create educational opportunities for students regarding the atrocities of the Holocaust and to encourage a sense of responsibility. The observance provides students with the opportunity to better recognize and uphold the values of tolerance and diversity helping to prevent future atrocities.
SB 1828 calls for the use of age-appropriate instruction, as determined by each school district. Plano ISD will recognize Holocaust Remembrance Week at all elementary and secondary campuses during the week of Jan. 27-31, 2020. During this week, students will learn about the history of and lessons learned from the Holocaust. According to SB 1828, these lessons will be conducted using materials developed or approved by the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission do not recommend explicit Holocaust instruction before sixth grade. They further state that elementary schools may choose their own materials that cover broader themes, such as community, tolerance, being an “upstander” and anti-bullying. An upstander is someone who recognizes when something is wrong and acts to make it right. An upstander stands up for what is right and does his or her best to help support and protect someone who is being hurt. Each elementary campus will participate through daily announcements focused on: kindness, acceptance, community, responsibility and being an upstander.
In middle schools, high schools and senior high schools, daily announcements will be made providing information about the Holocaust. Social studies teachers will present learning opportunities, selected from the Dallas Holocaust Museum’s education site during this week of observance.