On April 29, 1994, the Florida Legislature mandated that instruction on the subject of the Holocaust be included in public schools. The language of the mandate reveals the intent of the Legislature.
Throughout the year, the Holocaust Center offers professional development to teachers to assist them with teaching the Holocaust in their classrooms.
The Teacher Forums to connect the dots between the past and present while illuminating key influences from history on our times. Drawing upon lessons from the Holocaust and the World War II era, participants will explore the context that history provides to the modern world.
Schedule of Professional Development Offerings
Dr. Norman M. Wall Summer Teachers' Institute
Every June, the Holocaust Center hosts a institute on Holocaust Education. Teachers at every grade level, and in every discipline, are invited to participate in this multi-day institute designed to assist them in incorporating Holocaust Education in their class as required by Florida Statutes Chapter 1003.42. Lectures, films, printed material and survivor testimony will guide you through the Nazi era and help identify many of the things that allowed the Holocaust to happen.
Teachers can earn up to 20 hours of professional development credits. The institute encourages thoughtful discussion on how to help children understand the importance of tolerance, good citizenship, and nurturing democratic values.
Meeting the Mandate's Requirements
This mandate did not include any requirement for specific training in order for teachers to be competent and comfortable in teaching this subject. However, the Florida Department of Education has created a Task Force and designated regional centers to provide teachers with the assistance they need in order to fulfill this educational directive. The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida was among the first institutions to take on this role.
Florida Statute # 1003.42
Members of the instructional staff of the public schools, subject to the rules and regulations of the state board and of the school board, shall teach efficiently and faithfully, using the books and materials required, following the prescribed courses of study, and employing approved methods of instruction the following:
The history of the Holocaust (1933-1945), the systematic, planned annihilation of European Jews and other groups by Nazi Germany, a watershed event in the history of humanity, to be taught in a manner that leads to an investigation of human behavior, an understanding of the ramifications of prejudice, racism, and stereotyping, and an examination of what it means to be a responsible and respectful person, for the purposes of encouraging tolerance of diversity in a pluralistic society and for nurturing and protecting democratic values and institutions.”
House Bill 1213 – Educational Instruction of Historical Events
Requires the Commissioner of Education’s (Commissioner) African American History Task Force to examine ways to include the 1920 Ocoee Election Day Riots in the required instruction on African American history.
Revises the requirement to teach Holocaust education to include instruction concerning anti- Semitism; requires school districts to report Holocaust education instruction annually to the Florida Department of Education (department); requires the department to prepare and offer Holocaust education standards and curriculum; and designates the second week in November as “Holocaust Education Week.”
Requires the Commissioner’s African American History Task Force to examine ways to include the 1920 Ocoee Election Day Riots in the required instruction on African American history.
Encourages district school boards to seek opportunities to name school facilities in recognition of victims of the 1920 Ocoee Election Day Riots.
Revises the requirement to teach Holocaust education to include instruction on anti- Semitism.
Requires school districts to report Holocaust education instruction annually to the department.
Requires the department to prepare and offer Holocaust education standards and curriculum and permits the department to seek input from the Commissioner’s Task Force on Holocaust Education or from any state or nationally recognized Holocaust educational organizations.
Allows the department to contract with any state or nationally recognized Holocaust educational organizations to develop instructional personnel training and classroom resources.
Designates the second week in November as “Holocaust Education Week.”
GENERAL IMPLEMENTATION TIMELINE:
- The Bill becomes effective July 1, 2020
- Second week of November (each year) is designated as “Holocaust Education Week”
- March 1, 2021: The Commissioner’s African American History Task Force submits instruction recommendations on the 1920 Ocoee Election Day Riots to the State Board of Eduction and the Commissioner.