Genocide education requirement kicks in for new school year

LANSING (AP) — The new school year is starting with an additional requirement from Michigan lawmakers and Gov. Rick Snyder: genocide education.

The Holocaust and the 1915 massacre of Armenians must be taught in public schools under a law signed in June by Snyder. He says decisions about how to teach the history in grades 8-12 should be made in each community.

As many as 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks a century ago in an event widely viewed by historians as genocide. An estimated 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust during World War II.

Rep. Klint Kesto, a Republican from Oakland County, says students should learn “how to recognize genocide through past genocides.”

The new law also creates a commission to promote genocide education among the general population.