Valley Viewpoints

Educate on the Holocaust

After reading the article about Arlene Laut’s class at Hannibal Central School on the Holocaust and Genocide, I want to commend her on her commitment to educate our youth and let no one ever forget that horrific era of history.

It’s too bad that more educators do not have the same conviction as Arlene Laut.

More people need to remember and re-educate themselves and others on how the Holocaust was allowed to occur.

It started with government propaganda in schools’ curriculum, then with complacency of the citizens. They were disarmed, new relentless regulations and restrictions were brutally forced upon targeted citizens, with no recourse against the lawless government.

As Ms. Laut said, the phrase “Never Again’ is not true. Citizens must forever be constantly vigilant of the activities of government and other forces.

Diane Gardner


 More on the Holocaust

Congratulations to Hannibal High School special education teacher Arlene Laut, the Hannibal Board of Education and Hannibal Central School District for the design and implementation of the college-level course for 11th- and 12th-graders in Holocaust and Genocide studies.

One goal of Ms. Laut is to educate the students in this subject which students may have limited knowledge of, and her belief that, “….if people don’t teach it, it’s going to disappear.” If Ms. Laut continues to teach this class to Hannibal students, I dare say the atrocities that occurred in Europe during WWII and the genocides that continue to arise in Rwanda, Sudan and Armenia will be remembered by the students decades from now.

Unlike traditional history classes where students learn from textbooks and teacher lectures, Ms. Laut’s multi-dimensional class includes learning tools such as listening to survivor testimonials, visiting out-of-town Holocost museums, reading books written by concentration camp survivors, watching documentaries and Hollywood movies, group discussions in the classroom, writing and project-based learning.

I congratulate the District for making the decision to offer such a progressive, innovative class to our students, thus giving them a taste of the style of learning used in exceptional colleges, and enriching their total high school educational experience. The classes that encourage students to think on their own and be aware of social injustice are the types of classes that make a difference and empower students to form a lifelong interest in social responsibility.

Keep up the good work, Hannibal High School. The community appreciates your achievements.

Laura H. Bishop




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