Holocaust Education Week – The New State of Florida Mandate

This year, the Florida State Legislature passed legislation that adds to the existing Holocaust Mandate.  The new legislation designates the second week in November as Holocaust Education Week.  This week was chosen to commemorate Kristallnacht, also called “Night of Broken Glass” as windows of thousands of Jewish places of business were smashed and over 1,000 synagogues were burned to the ground in Germany and Austria. Many Jews were murdered, and others were sent to concentration camps where they had to endure hard labor.

With schools starting in a remote or hybrid setting, we have adapted some student-centered teaching strategies for use online.  This week our professional development for teachers is set up to ensure meaningfully learning about the Holocaust through best practices, newly designed resources, and engagement with survivor testimony and primary source study. We will review digital tools and resources as well as how to tailor a lesson plans that meets the Holocaust Mandate and uses standards that align with your courses.

About the Presenter:

Stephen Poynor HeadshotStephen Poynor

Stephen Poynor is the Resource Teacher at the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida. His position is a joint venture between Orange County Public Schools and the Center. He helps teachers and schools to implement the Florida mandate for Holocaust Education (F.S. 1003.42) through collaborative teacher training, direct student instruction, and curriculum design. He believes that studying the Holocaust provides an opportunity for educators to inspire critical thinking within students. He challenges educators and students to use the lessons from the Holocaust to raise questions about: individual and collective responsibility, the meaning of active citizenship, and the structures and societal norms that can become dangerous for certain groups and society as a whole. Prior to his position at the HMREC, Stephen earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Central Florida. After 15 years in the private sector, Stephen began his career in education at West Orange High school where he launched a Holocaust Studies program and served on the Commissioner of Education’s Task Force on Holocaust Education. In his free time, Stephen enjoys spending time with his family, whitewater rafting, hiking, swimming, watching movies, and reading.