Filed bill would require Asian American and Pacific Islander history to be taught in schools

by | Jan 20, 2023


  • A bill filed this week by Rep. Susan Plasencia would require Florid schools to teach the history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. 
  • Required instruction would include contributions made to American society, as well as an educational exploration of various cultural elements.
  • If adopted, statewide curricula could include the material as early as the 2023-24 academic year.

A bill filed on Thursday by Rep. Susan Plasencia would implement required Instruction in the History of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Florida schools if adopted.

The piece of legislation amends a previously-adopted series of statutes that details requirements to teach historically significant events across history, including the history of the United States, the history of the Holocaust, and African American history.

If passed, adopted curricula would involve teachings of contributions made by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to American society, as well as cultural elements and immigration history.

“Required instruction [includes] the history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, including immigration, citizenship, civil rights, identity, and culture” reads the filing. “Instructional materials shall include the contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to American society.”

According to AAPI Data, the largest Asian American and Pacific Islander ethnic groups in Florida are: Indian (185,991), Filipino (151,376), Chinese (125,469), Vietnamese (82,048), Korean (42,579), and Japanese (27,599).

According to the data, Plasencia’s district which covers portions of Orange County has one of the highest concentrations of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the state.

If signed into law, the requirement could go into effect as early as the 2023-24 academic school year.

A similar curriculum-amending bill was signed into law following last year’s Legislative Session by Gov. Ron DeSantis, placing a requirement on schools to spend at least 45 minutes of instructional time on “Victims of Communism Day.”

Through the legislation, high school students enrolled in the required United States Government class would be taught instructional material on Mao Zedong and the Cultural Revolution, Joseph Stalin and the Soviet System, Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution, and Vladimir Lenin and the Russian Revolution.

“Through HB 395 and the funding announced today, we are guaranteeing that the history of those who fled communist regimes and their experiences are preserved and not forgotten by our students,” said DeSantis upon the bill’s signing. “While it’s fashionable in some circles to whitewash the history of communism, Florida will stand for truth and remain as a beachhead for freedom.”

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