Rhode Island lawmakers passed a bill Tuesday that would require public schools in the state to teach Asian American history.
Rep. Barbara Ann Fenton-Fung (R) introduced a bill to the House of Representatives that would require public elementary schools and secondary schools in Rhode Island to teach one unit on Asian-American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander history and culture, WPRI reports. She hopes that the bill will address the rise in anti-Asian hate.
“Asian Americans over the past two years have really suffered from a lot of anti-Asian bias and anti-Asian hate,” Fenton-Fung told WPRI. “While this is not going to cure that overnight, this is the first step in improving that culture.”
On Tuesday the bill passed in the House by a 66-1 vote.
“I am so proud that today the Rhode Island legislature formally recognized that we must include Asian-Americans when we tell the great story of America,” Fenton-Fung said after the vote, according to Boston.com. “At times, some have felt as though they were guests in their own country. Today, we take the first steps toward improving that for generations to come.”
The Rhode Island Senate passed its own version of the bill introduced by State Senator Sandra Cano (D) back in May, On World Wide reports. The bill will now head to Gov. Dan McKee’s office for consideration.
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