56th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2023


Pamelya Herndon









     WHEREAS, New Mexico is a multicultural state that is rich with history; and

     WHEREAS, effective school leadership includes providing a learning environment that enhances a student's understanding of the contributions of the many diverse cultures that populate New Mexico; and

     WHEREAS, historically and presently, incidents occur within the state where individuals and communities are targeted because of their cultural, differently abled, ethnic, gender, national, political, racial and religious identities; and

     WHEREAS, classroom teachers and other educators are in a position to help students address and understand issues that arise from hatred, bigotry and intolerance; and

     WHEREAS, classroom teachers are looking to appropriately teach lessons that delve into the history of human behavior and examine contemporary basic human rights issues, particularly those that help students reflect on their own behavior and responsibilities as community members; and

     WHEREAS, advancing student learning and equitable outcomes requires educational leaders to have standards that guide their preparation for developing and expanding their teaching skills, as well as a foundational knowledge of historical events and a comprehensive understanding of the complexity of these historical events that could result in an improved climate of understanding, tolerance and appreciation of various cultures;

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that the public education department be requested to convene a task force, including educators and community members chosen by the task force, to develop curricular materials, professional development resources and guidance for a program to enhance the teaching of genocides, slavery, the Holocaust and other egregious human rights violations and inequity throughout history and the connection to conflicts that arise today; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the task force shall seek input and representation from the office on African American affairs, the Indian affairs department, the cultural affairs department, colleges of education, other education and governmental agencies and nonprofit organizations supporting and protecting human rights in the state; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the task force be requested to develop guidance for conformance with current New Mexico social studies standards on teaching courses that involve human rights issues, with particular attention to the study of genocides, slavery and the Holocaust; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the task force be requested to include in the comprehensive plan recommendations on how to incorporate the developed standards into existing courses in middle school and high school curricula; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the task force be requested to design instructional materials that:

          A. prepare students to confront and understand acts of mass violence and reflect on the causes of related historical events;

          B. develop students' respect for cultural diversity and help students gain insight into the importance of individuals and communities to facilitate the protection of international human rights for all people;

          C. communicate the impact of personal responsibility, civic engagement and societal responses;

          D. stimulate students' reflection on the individual and community-wide roles and responsibilities of citizens in democratic societies to combat misinformation, indifference and discrimination through the development of critical thinking skills and appropriate actions to defend individuals and communities whose human rights are being violated;

          E. provide students with opportunities to put into context and analyze patterns of human behavior by individuals and groups;

          F. enable students to understand the ramifications of prejudice, racism and stereotyping;

          G. provide students with a foundation for examining the history of discrimination in New Mexico; and

          H. explore the various mechanisms of transitional and restorative justice that help humanity move forward in the aftermath of genocide and other violent and egregious acts; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the task force prepare curricula, materials and professional development resources for educators throughout New Mexico; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that members of the task force be requested to provide options for the design of a pilot program; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the task force report findings, recommendations and pilot program options to the legislative education study committee by June 30, 2024; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this memorial be transmitted to the governor, the chair of the legislative education study committee and the secretary of public education.

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