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Holocaust Deniers Attempt To Derail Genocide Education Bill

Chris Phan / Flickr

There were some tense moments at an Oregon legislative hearing this week when a group of Holocaust-deniers spoke against a bill that would require genocide education in public schools.

Senate Bill 664 had been moving through the legislature with any opposition. But when the House Education Committee was about to sign off on the measure, several members of the public downplayed the Holocaust or flat-out suggested it didn’t happen.

Credit Chris Phan / Flickr

That prompted the committee’s chair, Rep. Margaret Doherty, D-Tigard, to severely limit the testimony that she called “offensive.”

Her move prompted an outburst from Thomas Madison of Salem, who wanted to continue.

“This is a public testimony, a place where people come to discuss issues left and right. And you have stopped me from doing so,” he said.

“Yes, I have,” Doherty responded.

After the dust-up, the committee voted nine-to-nothing to send the bill to the House floor. If approved, Oregon schools would be required to teach about genocide and the Holocaust starting in the 2020 school year.

Copyright 2019 KLCC

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”