Bill would require NY schools to teach the meaning of hate symbols

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – New York State lawmakers have drafted a new bill that would require the meaning of hate symbols to be taught in schools.

While the state legislature is out of session, a new Senate bill has been crafted to deal with “the recent spike in hate crimes” in New York State.

It would ensure kids in grades 6 through 12 receive instruction on the meaning of the swastika and the noose.

“We’re already teaching people about the Holocaust, about Jim Crow, about Reconstruction. So adding the significance of these symbols within those lessons should be something we’re able to accomplish,” Todd Kaminsky, NYS Senator, said.

Sen. Kaminsky says it’s about taking precautions.

“We wanted to make sure that students in schools are learning history and understanding that these symbols of intolerance and bigotry are connected to that history and hopefully that will prevent further actions going forward, along the lines of the bias incidents we’ve seen.”

A statement from a New York State United Teachers spokesman says:

“Addressing hate in our schools and communities is of critical importance. We will take time to carefully review this bill…”

And, that in the meantime they will continue their ongoing social justice work.

If the bill becomes law, it would go into effect on the following September 1st.

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