Tom Horne wants Arizona schools to prove they teach students about Holocaust, sets deadline
Jan 9, 2024, 4:27 PM
(Serena O'Sullivan Photo/Pexels Photo)
PHOENIX – Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne is giving schools a two-week deadline to prove they’re teaching students about the Holocaust and other genocides, citing ongoing concerns stemming from the Israel-Hamas war.
“During the past three months we have learned all-too-well how many people are ignorant about the realities of the Holocaust and other genocides of history,” Horne said in a Tuesday statement.
He cited ARS section 15–701.02, which mandates schools teach students about the Holocaust and other historical genocides.
Schools and districts have until Jan. 24 to prove they’re abiding by state law, Horne said.
Arizona Holocaust education is legally mandated
Horne has been critiquing antisemitism in educational spaces since Nov. 8, when he critiqued a UNICEF and Amnesty International event held at a Scottsdale high school.
Desert Mountain High School’s event supported Palestine and allegedly made Jewish students feel unsafe on campus.
Horne called event materials anti-American and antisemitic.
“We have heard about pro-Hamas and anti-American propaganda being spread in a high school student club, students being intimidated because of their ethnicity and we have seen pro-Hamas protests on college campuses,” Horne’s Tuesday announcement said.
“Expressions of hatred like this are unacceptable in an educational setting and a powerful way to combat this scourge is with learning. Students would not be vulnerable to antisemitic propaganda if they had received proper Holocaust instruction,” he added. “I’m grateful state law exists to require instruction on the Holocaust and other genocides, and it is important to ensure that districts and charter schools are in compliance.”
Schools and districts have to report how much time they devote to this education and what materials they use for their curriculum.