Of course, legislation is not and cannot be the simple solution. The truth is that education of ugly history isn’t just about the information students learn, it’s also about how they learn it, and what they choose to do with it beyond the classroom.
Through case studies of historical moments like the Holocaust, the organization I lead, Facing History and Ourselves, works with teachers to support the development of key competencies for students: critical thinking, moral reflection, social emotional learning, and civic education. Our approach helps students come to a deeper understanding of history and of human behavior, and recognize that history is made through decisions by individuals. In order for students to stand up to the forces of bigotry and prejudice, they need to understand how those forces came about and found purchase — and feel empowered to make their own choices to create a more just society.