FSWC Lauds Toronto School Board Initiative to Make Genocide Education Compulsory in Schools

June 18, 2020

Statement

Toronto (June 18, 2020) - Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) applauds the efforts of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) to make genocide education compulsory learning in Ontario schools.

According to a TDSB news release, a motion "calling on the Ministry of Education to incorporate genocide education as compulsory learning" was passed unanimously at a Board meeting last night. TDSB will be making numerous requests to the Minister of Education as part of the motion, including ensuring "genocide examples are a comprehensive study as part of the mandatory Canadian History Since World War I Grade 10 course" and having experts look at the curriculum to ensure students graduate with a better understanding of human rights and how to take action against all forms of hate.

"This initiative is an outstanding step toward having comprehensive genocide education and lessons about the history and dangers of hatred mandated in the school system," said Rabbi Meyer H. May, Executive Director of Simon Wiesenthal Center. “Since WWII, the world has convulsed with genocides in Cambodia, the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Darfur. 'Never Again' has become 'Ever Again!' Educating young people about the history of genocides and about the Holocaust will empower students to counter and prevent acts of hate in their communities."

"Genocide education is critical for students to help them appreciate and advocate for human rights," said Daniella Lurion, FSWC's Associate Director of Education. "Through FSWC's educational Holocaust, genocide and human rights workshops, we have seen students absorb the information and leave the workshops motivated to stand up against hate."

FSWC is a Jewish human rights organization that is committed to countering antisemitism, racism and other forms of hate and to promoting the principles of tolerance, social justice and Canadian democratic values through advocacy and educational programs, including its in-house workshops and widely acclaimed Tour for Humanity. Since 2013, the Tour for Humanity has provided Holocaust, genocide and human rights workshops to some 170,000 students, teachers and other community members across Ontario and beyond.

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