Act  70

Illustration Graphic: A LIGHT character wears a curious thinking face.

Pennsylvania Act 70 of 2014 is the most comprehensive piece of legislation for the teaching of the Holocaust, genocide, and human rights in Pennsylvania schools.

LIGHT was created after the signing of Act 70 into law, initially designed to incentivize and support Act 70-related programs and opportunities for teachers and students (à la STEM), and has since evolved into a framework that supports any educator or school district with their efforts to transform the teaching of the Holocaust, genocide, or human rights violations into student-led advocacy and action.

LIGHT offers Act 70 training!

LIGHT offers virtual and in-person Act 70 in-service training free of charge for participating LIGHT Network school districts and LIGHT Coordinators. 

Below is a very brief summary of Act 70

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“Pennsylvania Act 70 of 2014… declared that high priority should be placed on educating students to understand the importance of protecting human rights and the potential consequences of unchecked ignorance, discrimination, and persecution. As such, Act 70 strongly encouraged school entities across the Commonwealth to offer instruction in the Holocaust, genocide, and other human rights violations.”

“...the bill outlined criteria for the delivery of the permitted instruction beginning with the 2015-2016 school year. The legislation called for such instructional offerings to be integrated within social studies and language arts courses of study while also allowing such instruction to be integrated into other appropriate courses of study.

“… Act 70 directed PDE to make in-service training programs available to all school entities in the instruction encouraged by the legislation and in the related curriculum guidelines. The Act also set forth a requirement for all school entities to provide professional development programs on the Holocaust, genocide, and human rights violations for all educators whose teaching responsibilities included courses of study in which such instruction was integrated. This training requirement could be satisfied by participating in a program offered by PDE or another provider.

Furthermore, in 2017, the Board encouraged “schools to invite speakers to share accounts of experiences related to the Holocaust, genocide, and human rights violations.”

Report on Instruction in the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Violations: Findings and Recommendations, November 2017

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