click to enlarge

Photo: Graham Stokes for Ohio Capital Journal

State Sen. Jerry Chirino, R-Kirtland, speaks in support of SB21 during the Ohio Senate session on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023, at the Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio.

Ohio Sen. Jerry Chirino, R-Kirtland, danced around the question of how college faculty interact with a student with a “dissenting view” of the Holocaust May 24 during a House Higher Education Committee hearing.

State Rep. Casey Weinstein, D-Hudson, asked Chirin: “If a student had a different opinion about the Holocaust, that there was a very active denial group, would the professor be required to agree with the student and could the professor take the side of the Holocaust?”

According to a 2020 study millennials and Gen Z adults with Conference on material claims of Jews against Germany (Claims Conference)23% of respondents believed that the Holocaust was a myth, had been exaggerated, or were unsure.

Chirino said he has received this question many times since the introduction of Senate Bill 83, a massive higher education bill that would have a broad impact on college campuses.

“I think Holocaust deniers are off the list,” Chirino said, before answering what he would do in that situation as a college professor.

“I would expect the professor not to yell at the person and kick him out of the class and embarrass him in front of the other students. I expect the professor to come down on the side of history,” he said.

He said professors should present the facts clearly.

“No one should be shouted down, no matter how ridiculous their views or how wrong they are. This is now what our universities are all about. Our universities must accept even those views that are uncomfortable.”

Weinstein, who is Jewish, has had protesters show up at his home before with a banner reading “Kneel before the cross.”

“If there’s a professor who doesn’t (believe there was a Holocaust), I think that’s an incredibly slippery slope you’re making for our universities, and I think it’s incredibly dangerous,” he said. “I think it’s a shame you couldn’t say unequivocally here, ‘No, we shouldn’t allow Holocaust denial as part of a legitimate classroom debate, which is what you just described.’

SB 83, which passed the Senate last week, among other things, to confirm that higher education institutions have full intellectual diversity and have intellectual diversity protection. It would also require college students to take certain courses in American history, tenure of professors would be based on “bias,” board of trustees terms would be shortened from nine years to four, and university staff and employees would be prohibited from striking.

This story was originally published Ohio Capital Journal and republished here with permission.

Sign up for the CityBeat newsletter.

Follow us: Google news | NewsBreak | Reddit | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

Previous articleWNBA point guard Courtney Vandersloot dreams of becoming a champion with the New York Liberty
Next articleDisney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid is a sanitized multicultural fantasy in search of a much bigger soul | Movie Reviews and Stories | Cleveland