New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is expected to sign a bill passed in the legislature Monday that would require the teaching of Asian American studies in the state’s public schools.
NBC reports the bill would mandate its teaching in grades K – 12 as a way of combating anti-Asian hate. New Jersey would be the second state in the country after Illinois to make such a requirement.
Assembly Democrats Raj Mukherji, an Indian American, sponsored the bill along with Mila Jasey, Britnee Timberlake and Sterley Stanley, reported India West.
It passed in the Senate today after making it through the Assembly Sunday.
“Excluding the rich history of the AAPI community from our schools’ curriculum not only prevents students from gaining a full understanding of our nation’s history, but also opens the door for racial biases that can turn into violence and hatred,” the group of four legislators said in a statement.
NBC reports that more than 1 million residents in New Jersey identified as Asian in the 2020 census.
“It’s affirming our sense of belonging to this country, and also that we deserve to feel safe,” said Kani Ilangovan, the founder of Make Us Visible New Jersey, and an Indian American. “It’s very sad, but during the pandemic, there’s been a huge rise in anti-Asian violence, and we feel education is the best antidote to hate.”
Last month, Gov Murphy created an AAPI task force responsible for working on policies addressing the social and economic needs of the community.
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