(JTA) — Maryland state officials said they will strengthen requirements for Holocaust education in middle schools and high schools.
The announcement by State Superintendent Karen Salmon comes days before the one-year anniversary of the shooting by a white supremacist gunman at a Pittsburgh synagogue building that left 11 worshippers dead
Among the plans are to teach about the roots of anti-Semitism in middle school social studies classes and deepen instruction about the Holocaust in high school as part of history courses, The Washington Post reported. The planned changes also would include requiring Holocaust instruction within the state’s new fourth- and fifth-grade social studies framework.
“We strongly believe there is a need to enhance Holocaust education in our state, so that all children learn about this horrific event and ensure it never happens again,” Salmon said in a statement. “We see the changes that we are making as a substantive improvement over the current objectives and frameworks.”
Last month, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, the Baltimore Jewish Council and state lawmakers wrote to the state asking it to more clearly define state requirements for Holocaust education.
“With this announcement, our state educators are making an emphatic statement about our collective obligation to teach all children about the Holocaust in a consistent and detailed way,” Howard Libit, executive director of the Baltimore Jewish Council, said in a joint statement with the JCRC and Jewish state delegates.