House unanimously passes Rep. Travis Couture’s Holocaust education bill

The House has unanimously passed a bill from Rep. Travis Couture that requires public schools to provide education about the Holocaust, genocides, and other crimes against humanity. The bill also designates April as International Genocide Prevention and Awareness Month and requires public schools to provide age-appropriate activities related to Holocaust and genocide education.

Under House Bill 2037, by the 2027-28 school year Washington schools are required – rather than strongly encouraged – to provide education on the Holocaust, genocides and other crimes against humanity during grades 6 through 12.

“The Holocaust was one of the worst atrocities in human history, yet research shows many of our young people don’t believe it happened,” said Couture, R-Allyn. “That dishonors the memory of those murdered and is terrifying because the only way we ensure that events like the attempted annihilation of the Jewish people and murders of more than six million men, women, and children never happen again to anyone anywhere in the world, is to educate our young people about such atrocities.”

Couture pointed to a recent poll that found one out of five people in the U.S. aged 18 to 29 believe the Holocaust is a myth. It is a trend that has been growing in the U.S. and other parts of the world in recent years.

“I have some concerns with language included in a surprise amendment by the majority party that I believe weakened the bill. Ultimately, I truly believe it is more important that we pass this good public policy to inform and protect future generations, and to never forget this part of human history,” said Couture. “Knowledge is power, and  today, I am proud of what we have done to ensure our young people are educated about the horrific events of the Holocaust that continue to impact our state, our nation, and the world today.”    

The Holocaust was the systematic, state-sponsored genocide perpetrated between 1933 and 1945 by the Nazi regime and its collaborators with the aim of annihilating the Jewish people. During the era of the Holocaust, the Nazis also targeted other groups, including people with disabilities, the Romani people, political dissidents, and gay men.

House Bill 2037 now moves to the Senate.


Washington State House Republican Communications