Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

President Expected to Sign Buchanan-Backed Holocaust Education Bill

May 27, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON – President Trump is expected to sign legislation this week co-sponsored by Congressman Vern Buchanan to help educate students nationwide about the horrors of the Holocaust. 

The Never Again Education Act would dedicate funding for Holocaust education programs to be administered by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. It would also create regional workshops to assist teachers in high schools and middle schools throughout the country to incorporate Holocaust education into their curricula.

The bill was passed in the U.S. House in January and in the Senate earlier this month.

“Anti-Semitism has no place in our country, especially in our schools,” said Buchanan. “We need to do all we can to combat this evil ideology.”

A recent report from the Anti-Defamation League found that there was a 20 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents in Florida in 2019, with significant increases in both harassment and assaults. Nationally there were more than 400 anti-Semitic incidents at K-12 schools in 2019, a 19 percent increase over 2018.

Shockingly, a 2018 survey found that 22 percent of U.S. millennials have either never heard of or are unsure if they have heard of the Holocaust. 

Buchanan noted a Bradenton Herald report which said that although Florida law has required Holocaust education since 1994, it remains unclear — 25 years later — whether all school districts are taking part or how compliance should be measured. The operators of the Al Katz Center for Holocaust Survivors and Jewish Learning in Bradenton are pushing for more robust Holocaust education in the community.

The bill is supported by prominent groups including: the Anti-Defamation League, the American Zionist Movement, the Jewish Federations of North America, the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, World Jewish Congress North America and the Center for Jewish History.

“This funding and training would help educators teach young Americans of the Holocaust’s atrocities,” Buchanan said. “The increase of anti-Semitism that we have seen in Florida and across the country is unacceptable. We must deny the purveyors of anti-Semitism the opportunity to spread this hate among our students.”

Buchanan is a member of bipartisan Congressional taskforce whose aim is to combat anti-Semitism, which experienced a rise in 2019. According to the Anti-Defamation League, there were 2,107 recorded attacks against Jewish institutions and Jewish people. It marked the third-highest year on record since the ADL began recording information in the 1970s.

Moreover, Buchanan is a co-sponsor of the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, which calls for the Department of Education to clarify and update the definition of anti-Semitism. This would allow colleges to more easily investigate and combat reports of anti-Semitism.