A school board in Wisconsin is calling for the integration of the Hmong and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community culture and history into the curriculum.
On Monday, the Verona Area School District Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution in support of the community, becoming the first in the state to do so.
Members of the board expressed their commitment to adopt the curriculum changes for the schools in a bid to make all students feel welcomed in the district.
After the vote, VASD Superintendent Dr. Tremayne Clardy promised that the resolution would prompt action.
“We’re making a large commitment to ensuring that the representation happens right away,” Clardy was quoted as saying. “It’s through art, it’s through some of our history, it’s through literature, and there’s so many venues for us to uplift the AAPI community.”
Among those who advocated for the passing of the resolution are English teacher Kabby Hong and VASD Asian American Student Association co-President Angela Miller.
Hong and Miller attended the board meeting and spoke in support of the AAPI resolution, urging board members to approve the measure.
“I am really happy about it because, as a young student, I didn’t see Asian American history or visibility in our curriculum,” Miller said. “It felt isolating as a child to see other kids get to learn about their history, but then I just got to watch ‘Mulan’ and that was it.”
Hong shared that he had the same experience of not learning about AAPI history as a young student growing up.
“Asian American history was absolutely missing,” he said. “It was invisible. I didn’t think that Asian Americans achieved anything great in our country. I didn’t think Asian Americans wrote great literature.”
They believe that through the curriculum changes, students can soon learn about and appreciate the culture and historical contributions of the Hmong and AAPI communities.