Some Connecticut legislators have introduced bills that would require the teaching of African-American or African American and Latinx history in the state’s public schools. The proposed legislation, House Bill 7082, is called An Act Concerning The Inclusion of African-American Studies In The Public School Curriculum. At the same time, a group of high school students from several New Haven public schools have been working on establishing an African-American history curriculum into the local school system as an elective course.
That group – Students for Educational Justice – held meetings with some of the bills’ sponsors, and a dozen of them testified at a public hearing in March. The students want any bill that’s passed to include the study of race and racism, to prevent what they call a “fun fact session,” about famous black Americans.
Between The Lines’ Melinda Tuhus spoke with Benie N’Sumbu, a member of Students for Educational Justice and senior at Cooperative Arts and Humanities High School in New Haven. Here, she talks about the amendments they want added to House Bill 7082, the efforts they have undertaken to promote passage and why they want the curriculum to specifically address the experience of African Americans.
For more information, visit the student group’s website students4edjustice.org.