The Keystone State has not been immune to the antisemitism that has been occurring on campuses throughout the country since Hamas attacked Israel in October. But Michael Geer of the Pennsylvania Family Institute says Republican lawmakers are taking action.
State Representative Rob Mercuri has introduced a measure that deals with higher education.
"This legislation says taxpayer funding should only follow with a university's commitment to combat antisemitic behavior and demonstrate leadership on campus by clearly identifying calls for genocide as against the Code of Conduct," Geer details.
Offending universities would risk losing state funding.
Another bill, introduced by Rep. Kristan Marcell, deals with K-12 education.
"Her legislation would require curriculum transparency in Holocaust education occurring in schools," relays Geer. "Parents in the communities deserve to know how these events are being taught in Pennsylvania schools. A shocking statistic has come and found a significant number of young people believe that the Holocaust did not happen."
"While the Department of Education establishes the curriculum guidelines, schools that choose to offer lessons on the Holocaust and genocide may use any curriculum that is consistent with the law's requirements," Rep. Marcell said. "However, across Pennsylvania there is currently no standardized, simple, and user-friendly way for parents to review the curriculum to see how the Holocaust is taught to their children. Teaching about the Holocaust is not just about learning history; it is about safeguarding democratic values and promoting a more just and tolerant society."
In addition to co-prime sponsoring the Holocaust curriculum transparency legislation, Rep. Joe Hogan said he will author a resolution declaring Nov. 9, 2024, as Antisemitism Awareness and Education Day in Pennsylvania. That date also coincides with the International Day Against Fascism.