New law adds Asian American-Pacific Islander history to Connecticut schools

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Earlier this week, Gov. Ned Lamont signed a new law adding AAPI history to social studies classes starting in the fall of 2025.

John Craven

May 27, 2022, 9:27 PM

Updated 782 days ago

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May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Earlier this week, Gov. Ned Lamont signed a new law adding AAPI history to social studies classes starting in the fall of 2025.
Sydney Ng, a parent from Greenwich, pushed for the law. She wants her two sons to understand their heritage – something they rarely learn in school.
"They do have questions about how we have impacted the country and our story -- our narrative inside of this country," said Ng.
The new curriculum will include a special emphasis on AAPI contributions to civil rights, politics, the arts and science.
The group Make Us Visible CT lobbied for the change.
"As we learned about World War II, the civil rights movement, immigration laws, I wondered where the Asian Americans were," UConn student Mingda Sun told lawmakers.
The movement was a reaction to a rash of pandemic crimes against Asian Americans.
"Instead of my parents calling me every day, it's me calling them to make sure they are safe," said Jeffrey Gu with Make Us Visible CT.
Connecticut is also adding a Native American studies curriculum, and beginning this fall, all high schools must offer a standalone class in African American and Latino studies. But the class is only an elective, and 90% of Connecticut teachers are white, so some of the topics aren't as familiar to them.
Sydney Ng says even baby steps are a step forward for her two boys -- and a safer society.
"Every step forward is a step forward," she said. "It benefits to know that your neighbors are people, and they have a history too."


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