CHARLESTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) – On Thursday, the West Virginia Senate Education Committee advanced a bill that would mandate the teaching of the Holocaust and other genocides that have occurred throughout history.
Senate Bill 216, introduced by Senator Jack David Woodrum (R-Summers), would require all public, private, parochial, and denominational schools to instruct students on the Holocaust and other genocides.
Senator Rollan Roberts (R-Raleigh) moved to amend the bill to remove private, parochial, and denominational schools from the mandate. “We keep adding things onto the list of demands on the private, parochial, and denominational schools,” Roberts said.
“We are isolating a group of non-public schools, but we are exempting other non-public schools,” Roberts said speaking of how homeschooling and micro-schools are excluded from the mandate.
Senator David Stover (R-Wyoming) raised concerns about Robert’s amendment stating that the amendment would not only remove the mandate for this bill, but amend the code that would remove all mandated education for private, parochial, and denominational schools.
“I think the danger mandating that there are no mandates that the state can put on private or parochial schools, that frightens me,” Stover said.
Senator Mark Maynard (R-Wayne) spoke in favor of Sen. Roberts’s amendment. “If we require all the same things [for non-public schools] it doesn’t differentiate them,” Maynard said. “I think they should have some right to do what they feel best for their students.”
The amendment from Senator Roberts removing the mandate for private, parochial, and denominational schools was adopted on a voice vote.
After, Senator Mike Oliverio (R-Monongalia) also moved to amend the bill by including a mandate for financial literacy to be taught in all public schools. No specific grade was included in the amendment. The amendment was adopted in a voice vote.
Senator Charles Trump (R-Morgan) also proposed an amendment to the bill stating that curriculum on the Holocaust and other genocides be taught by the completion of the 12th grade. That amendment was also adopted on a voice vote.
After a lengthy discussion, Senate Bill 216, as amended, was advanced on a voice vote with the recommendation that it be reported to the full Senate with the recommendation that it do pass.