Connecticut AG Tong praises passage of AAPI studies legislation for the state’s public schools

Connecticut AAPI studies public school
  • Connecticut Attorney General William Tong praised the passage of HB 5282, a bill that would require public schools to teach AAPI history as part of the state’s education statutes, in a statement on Tuesday.
  • “The surge in anti-Asian violence and bigotry right now has its roots in a long history that has been unaddressed and ignored for too long,” Tong said. “Law enforcement cannot address this crisis alone if that history remains invisible. That’s why this legislation is so important."
  • Aside from having students learn about AAPI history and incidents of AAPI bias and hate in the country, such as the murder of Vincent Chin and the incarceration of Japanese Americans in concentration camps during World War II, Tong said the bill would also highlight the successes of Asian Americans and their contributions to the country.
  • The bill was first introduced in February and has recently passed through the state legislature’s Education and Appropriations Committee.

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong has praised the passage of a bill that would require AAPI studies to be taught in public schools across the state.

HB 5282, which recently passed through the state legislature’s Education and Appropriations Committee, would require public schools to teach AAPI history as part of Connecticut’s education statutes.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Tong applauded the passage of the legislation, saying: “Anti-Asian hate and bias is not new. The surge in anti-Asian violence and bigotry right now has its roots in a long history that has been unaddressed and ignored for too long. Law enforcement cannot address this crisis alone if that history remains invisible. That’s why this legislation is so important.”

Aside from having students learn about AAPI history and incidents of AAPI bias and hate in the country, such as the murder of Vincent Chin and the incarceration of Japanese Americans in concentration camps during World War II, Tong said the bill would also highlight the successes of Asian Americans and their contributions to the country.

There is also a long history of Asian American accomplishment here in Connecticut that we should be proud to teach,” Tong continued. “Students should know about Meriden resident Joseph Pierce who fought in the Civil War as the highest-ranked Chinese American in the Union Army. Students should know about Yale-graduate [sic] Yung Wing, who in 1854 became the first Chinese student ever to graduate from an American university.”

The bill was first introduced in February and came before the General Assembly’s Education Committee. State funding for the creation of its curriculums has yet to be specified, but Jeffrey Gu, the co-founder and policy director at Make Us Visible CT, expects the amount to be $100,000.

HB 5282, which was made possible with the efforts of several AAPI advocacy groups and the support of state legislature members, is cosponsored by 89 members of the United States’ two major political parties.

Illinois became the first state in the U.S. to pass a bill that requires public schools to teach AAPI studies. The bill, also known as TEACH Act (HB 376), received a unanimous vote in May 2021.

In January, New Jersey became the second state to require K-12 schools to teach AAPI history as part of their curriculums starting in the 2022-2023 school year.

 

Other states, such as Ohio, California, New York and Florida, are also making their own bills to push for AAPI studies in public schools.

 

Feature Image via Connecticut’s Kid Governor

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