(JTA) — Michigan public schools must teach about genocide, including the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide, under a new law.
The legislation, which was signed into law on Tuesday by the state’s governor, Rick Snyder, calls for six hours of instruction about genocide between eighth and 12th grade. It specifically mentions the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide, which began in 1915, but other mass killings must be taught, according to The Associated Press.
“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,” Snyder said in a statement following the signing.
“There are, unfortunately, other instances, of atrocities that would be beneficial for students to learn about regardless of whether they meet a certain definition. When and how to teach students about these events would be best left to the educational experts trained to do so.”
Michigan had not mandated Holocaust or genocide education, Michigan Department of Education spokesman Bill DiSessa told the AP, but added that high school students in the state do learn about the Holocaust.