School district in Wisconsin to make Hmong, AAPI history part of curriculum

Verona Schools AAPI
  • The Verona Area School District Board of Education in Wisconsin unanimously approved a resolution on Monday expressing support for the Hmong, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.
  • The resolution also calls for the integration of Hmong and AAPI history and culture into the district’s school curriculum.
  • English teacher Kabby Hong and VASD Asian American Student Association co-President Angela Miller attended the board meeting and spoke in support of the AAPI resolution, urging board members to approve the measure.
  • It remains to be seen if other districts in the state will follow.
  • There are currently four states — Illinois, Connecticut, New Jersey and Rhode Island — that have passed legislation to require schools to teach AAPI history.

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. 

There are currently four states, namely Illinois, Connecticut, New Jersey and Rhode Island, that have passed legislation to require schools to teach AAPI history. In Wisconsin, a similar bill has yet to be passed despite a few lawmakers advocating for it.

 

Featured Image via Channel 3000/News 3 Now

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