Lawmakers push for Asian American studies to be required in CT schools as discrimination spikes amid pandemic

Connecticut

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Connecticut’s the first state in the nation to require Black and Latino Studies Curriculum. Now, lawmakers want to see Asian American Studies included.

Discrimination against Asian Americans spiked during the coronavirus pandemic and that’s why lawmakers are pushing for this right now.

“Asian Pacific Americans are often invisible in that discussion,” said Attorney General William Tong.

Connecticut’s first Asian American Attorney General says this country has a history of injustices against Asian Pacific Americans.

“But then of course President Trump started using terms like the “China Virus” calling it the “Kong Flu,” said Tong.

Asian Pacific Americans have been targeted across the country and in Connecticut recently. A woman was assaulted in Stamford by a store clerk who sprayed her with Lysol. Now, lawmakers are working across the aisle on a bipartisan bill that would require Asian Pacific American history be taught in Connecticut public schools.

“We can inform. We can raise awareness. I think it’s a sense of empowerment rather than victimization,” said State Sen. Tony Hwang, R, Fairfield.

State Senator Tony Hwang wrote his college thesis on one of the most egregious acts. When Japanese Americans were forced into internment camps.

“We can raise people’s awareness of the impact of Asian pacific Americans. Since the Transcontinental Pacific Railroad,” said Hwang.

Connecticut’s Asian American leaders say they have felt invisible at times. This bill would be one step towards ensuring curriculum is inclusive.

“The history of Joseph Pierce. A Chinese American with a not Chinese-sounding name who fought for the union during the civil war from Meriden,” said Tong. “Or Yung Wing the first Chinese student who came to study at Yale University. That’s Connecticut’s rich history.”

Lawmakers say this bill would benefit everyone. They say this is a history that has been written out of the books.

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