NEW YORK (PIX11) — After two years of a surge in anti-Asian violence, New York City is adding Asian American history to the curriculum at schools.
With just weeks left in the school year, the plan will be fully implemented in classrooms come September. State Senator John Liu is hoping the rest of the state follows New York City’s lead. He’s introducing a bill to have the many contributions of Asian Americans in this country added to school lessons.
“The Asian American experience is something that is much more unique to the people and communities who are right here in New York or the other parts of the United States,” Liu said.
American history textbooks often include details of the trans-continental railroad and the concentration camps that Japanese Americans were put into during World War II, he said. But there’s usually no mention of the 1982 killing of Vincent Chin or the hostility South Asian communities experienced in the aftermath of 9/11.
“That is the kind of thing that we’re looking to teach in public schools,” Liu said.
Eva Chan, founder of the Upper Manhattan Asian American Alliance, said the demands for inclusion by the Asian American community in New York had been heard by city leaders.
“It puts everyone on the same footing. That’s ultimately what we are fighting for,” she said.
A Department of Education spokesperson the DOE remains committed to making sure Asian American students see themselves and their peers in the books they read and the lessons they learn in the classroom.