Snyder signs bill requiring genocide education in Michigan - WNEM TV 5

Snyder signs bill requiring genocide education in Michigan

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LANSING, MI (AP) -

The Holocaust and the 1915 massacre of Armenians must be taught in Michigan public schools under a law signed by Gov. Rick Snyder.

At the same time Tuesday, Snyder released a letter noting that not all governments and nations accept the definition of genocide as put forth by the United Nations. He says decisions about how to teach the history in grades 8-12 should be made in each community.

Historians estimate that as many as 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks in an event widely viewed by historians as genocide, the term also used by Snyder. But Turkey denies the deaths were genocide and disputes the death toll.

An estimated 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust during World War II.

“Our next generation of leaders needs to have the wherewithal to recognize and help prevent widespread harm to their fellow men and women,” Snyder said. “Teaching the students of Michigan about genocide is important because we should remember and learn about these terrible events in our past while continuing to work toward creating a more tolerant society.” 

Daniel Rubin, a student at Grand Blanc East Middle School, lobbied State Senator Dave Robertson and Stat Rep. Charles Smiley on behalf of this legislation.

"As we all know, the Holocaust, while being such a horrible subject, is something we have to remember in order to not repeat past mistakes," Daniel said.

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