State senator announces bill to require Asian American studies in Florida schools

Senator says legislation wouldn’t add financial cost to schools

State Sen. Linda Stewart has announced a bill that would require instruction of Asian American culture and history.

State Sen. Linda Stewart has announced a bill that would require instruction of Asian American culture and history.

Senate Bill 294 has bipartisan support with co-sponsor Republican Anna Rodriguez, whose senate district includes South Florida.

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“I just want us to recognize the Asian American culture and teach the young people about that culture,” Stewart said. “If they learn about it, then they are less likely to go on the street and beat ‘em up because that’s what they are doing. They are shooting them and beating them up.”

There are also inclusions referencing the of African and Jewish Americans to modern-day American society.

Unlike in the 2022 legislative session, this time around, the bill has bipartisan support in the House, as well.

“The Asian American Community has not had a lot of recognition and their contribution because nobody has taught it and said, ‘Here are some things you should know about this community,’” Stewart said. “This would just be added to that curriculum or special study curriculum. We are just asking that you add it to what you are already teaching.”

Stewart adds there shouldn’t be any financial cost to schools.

If passed, the bill also requires districts to submit proof they’ve included the instruction in their curriculum.

According to Mimi Chan, the Florida director of Make Us Visible, she led the effort to get the education measure to lawmakers.

“As someone who grew up in Florida and educated in Florida, I did not learn about Asian American history in school,” Chan told News 6. “I went to public school. I graduated from UCF. It was definitely something that was missing from my education.”

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Troy graduated from California State University Northridge with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication. He has reported on Mexican drug cartel violence on the El Paso/ Juarez border, nuclear testing facilities at the Idaho National Laboratory and severe Winter weather in Michigan.