BOSTON (AP) – Middle school and high school students in Massachusetts are reportedly learning about genocide history and human rights issues under a bill signed by Governor Charlie Baker this week.

The bill requires colleges and high schools in the state to include education on the history of the genocide. The legislation comes as cases of hate and anti-Semitism are on the rise across the country, with several incidents reported in Massachusetts over the past year, according to supporters of the legislation.

Massachusetts did not require education about the Holocaust or other genocides as part of its school curriculum.

Lawmakers renewed pressure to make education on the history of the genocide compulsory earlier this year after a Duxbury High School football coach fired following reports that the team used anti-Semitic language, including a mention of Auschwitz, in their appeal on the ground.

This bill would create a genocide education trust fund to support the development of educational materials and provide professional development training for educators.

The legislation would also require school districts to file annually a description of their lesson plans and programs for educating students about genocide with the Ministry of Elementary and Secondary Education.

According to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, up to 17 states require Holocaust education as part of their high school programs.

(Copyright (c) 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Sign up for our newsletter for the latest news straight to your inbox