This Article shines a light on a little noticed phenomenon in American law: the promulgation of ten state statutes and one state regulation, each requiring education about genocide in elementary and/or secondary schools. The mandates, adopted from 1989 through 2018, appear to be only the beginning inasmuch as in 2017 another nineteen states publicly pledged to pass such mandates as well.
The Article describes each of the existing mandates and compares them to each other, including an analysis of the laws’ respective strong and weak points. This exposition, of interest in itself, also sets the stage for proposals to improve the mandates regarding inclusiveness of peoples, comprehensiveness of subject matter, and range of pedagogical impacts.
Additionally, the question is taken up as why the mandates have gotten a foothold in the United States. One reason may be that experts deem them to be the most effective means of preventing genocide. Second, the mandates are consistent with the American legal system, and have posed no conceptual obstacles for lawmakers. And third, genocide is so inherently appalling as to inspire political pressure and legislative countermeasures against it.
The Plot to Overthrow Genocide: State Laws Mandating Education About the Foulest Crime of All,
102 Marq. L. Rev. 51
Available at: https://scholarship.law.marquette.edu/mulr/vol102/iss1/4
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