R 231
2018 -- S 2883
Enacted 05/10/2018

S E N A T E   R E S O L U T I O N

Introduced By: Senators Goldin, Gallo, Miller, Ruggerio, and Metts
Date Introduced: May 10, 2018

     WHEREAS, In 2016, the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island and the Armenian
community spearheaded the drive to amend the Rhode Island General Laws in order to require
more comprehensive and inclusive educational requirements on the subjects of Holocaust and
Genocide; and
     WHEREAS, Resultantly, House Bill 7488 SUB A and Senate Bill 2396 SUB A were
passed by the General Assembly and subsequently signed into law by the Governor on June 17,
2016; and
     WHEREAS, Rhode Island's law now requires the Rhode Island Board of Education to
include instruction on the subjects of Holocaust and Genocide studies in an appropriate place in
the curriculum, for all middle and high school students; and
     WHEREAS, Rhode Island was one of the first states to enact legislation mandating such
education along with Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Florida, Illinois, California, Indiana, and
Pennsylvania have passed laws requiring some form of Holocaust and Genocide Education, and
Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Virginia and a
dozen other states have committed to enacting similar legislation; and
     WHEREAS, The Holocaust is defined as the destruction of six million European Jews by
the Nazis and their collaborators between 1933 and 1945. Genocide is defined as "acts committed
with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group" and "… a
series of purposeful actions by a perpetrator(s) to destroy a collectivity through mass or selective
murders of group members and suppressing the biological and social reproduction of the
collectivity"; and
     WHEREAS, Holocaust and Genocide Education seeks to enhance education, cultural
production, and public memory about the incidence of these atrocities – in the distant and not-so-
distant past. Educators must embrace the teaching and study of the topic and students must be
motivated to employ critical thinking skills; and
     WHEREAS, Holocaust and Genocide Education has additional prevalence in that it
demonstrates what can happen when bullying, hate speech, and other forms of intimidation, often
faced by today's students, are allowed to escalate into stereotyping, prejudice, racism, and worse;
     WHEREAS, It is essential to our state and our nation that we educate our youth about the
millions of men, women and children who have and continue to be slaughtered and ostracized
simply because of their beliefs and their heritage, or their strengths or their frailties, and we must
firmly avow that the atrocities of the Holocaust and Genocide will never be repeated; now,
therefore be it
     RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
hereby strongly supports Holocaust and Genocide Education in Rhode Island's schools, reaffirms
our pledge to work to eradicate bigotry, prejudice, brutality and injustice, and urges Rhode Island
educators and students to learn about and learn from these atrocities so they may never blight our
world again; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and hereby is authorized and directed to
transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to the Commissioner of the Rhode Island
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Rhode Island Holocaust Museum, the
Jewish Federation of Rhode Island, the Jewish Community Center of Rhode Island, the Armenian
Assembly of America in Washington, and the Armenian National Committee in Washington.