Gov. Polis Signs Holocaust and Genocide Studies Bill

On July 8, at Jewish Colorado in Denver, Governor Jared Polis signed into law HB20-1336, sponsored by Representatives Dafna Michaelson Jenet and Emily Sirota and Senators Steve Fenberg and Dennis Hisey. The bill, which passed unanimously in both the Colorado House and Senate, requires high school seniors in public schools to learn about genocide and the Holocaust as a requirement for graduation. 

“All Colorado students should graduate with an understanding of the darkest parts of our history so we can work together to stop racism and hatred and ensure that atrocities like the Holocaust never happen again,” said Rep. Michaelson Jenet, D-Commerce City. “We’ve seen a rise in anti-semitism and racist and bigoted language during this pandemic, and it’s important for all our children to learn how hatred and discrimination can lead quickly to genocide.”

Read the full press release here.

A statement from Roz Duman, the founder and executive director of the Coalition Against Global Genocide:

On behalf of CoAGG’s Board of Directors, Supporters, our 40 and growing Coalition Partners and Members of our Speakers Bureau which includes Holocaust survivors, many survivors of Genocides who are now living in our state and experts on the subject of Genocide.

I want to thank you, Governor Polis, sponsors of the bill, Representatives Daphna Michaelson Jenet, Emily Sirota and Senators Steve Fenberg and Dennis Hisey and all the cosponsors. And last but not least, I want to thank the many individuals and organizations who kept fighting for this legislation and never gave up resulting in reaching this very historic moment for Colorado.

In our Jewish religion, we have a blessing for a time like this.

Finally after so many decades, we have the legislation needed to make sure our schoolchildren will be taught about the evils of the Holocaust and Genocides. We feel this is such an important tool that can and will further the goal of preventing future genocides and crimes against humanity and at the same time inspire moral courage and provide lessons in human rights and human conduct for our next generation.

And now it is time for us to celebrate what we all have achieved.

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