Yesterday, the Senate passed House Bill 198 by a vote of 16-5. Out of the seven Republicans in the Senate, five voted no: Senators Hocker, Lawson, Pettyjohn, Richardson and Wilson.
What are they voting against? The bill would require each school district and charter school serving students in Kindergarten through 12th grade to provide curricula on Black history beginning in the 2022-23 academic year. While schools currently dedicate lessons to the struggles and achievements of Black Americans during Black History Month each year, the lessons are too often limited to those four weeks and not contextualized into the entire story of American history.
The lessons encouraged by HB 198 would be used to educate all students on the Black experience in the United States and examine the ramifications of prejudice, racism, and intolerance in a broader and more thorough context.
I suppose that is just too uncomfortable for our five Senate Republicans, who joint their eight House brethen in finding it objectionable that the truth be taught in our schools.
Despite their efforts, the bill now goes to Governor Carney for his signature.
|House Bill 198 Sponsors||Yes Votes||No Votes|
|Dorsey Walker, Heffernan, K.Johnson, Minor-Brown, S.Moore, Cooke, Lambert, Morrison||House Passed 33-7-1. Baumbach, Bennett, Bentz, Bolden, Brady, Bush, Carson, Chukwuocha, Cooke, Dorsey Walker, Griffith Heffernan K.Johnson K.Williams Kowalko Lambert Longhurst Lynn Matthews Minor-Brown Mitchell Morrison Osienski S.Moore Schwartzkopf Wilson-Anton D.Short Hensley M.Smith Ramone Shupe Smyk Spiegelman||Briggs King (Not Voting), Collins, Dukes, Gray, Morris, Postles, Vanderwende, Yearick|
|Lockman, Sturgeon, Brown, Gay, Pinkney, Sokola, Townsend||Senate Passed 16-5. Brown Ennis Gay Hansen Lockman Mantzavinos Paradee Pinkney Poore S.McBride Sokola Sturgeon Townsend Walsh Bonini Lopez||Hocker Lawson Pettyjohn RIchardson Wilson|
|Current Status —||Bill will be sent to Governor Carney for his signature|
“An accurate history of our nation and its people must make more than passing references to Black Americans and include a full account of our contributions to this country and its culture, well beyond the context of our subjugation,” said. Sen. Elizabeth Lockman.
“Black people have been here from the very beginning,” she said. “Embracing our full history and sharing it with our young people will give them an opportunity to understand the interwoven narratives of all our struggles and triumphs, as painful and ideologically contradictory as they may sometimes feel.”
“Black history is American history, and if it is not taught, it can easily be forgotten. When teaching the history of our nation, the achievements, challenges, contributions, struggles and triumphs of Black people should not be segregated, but be incorporated into the American story, just as they unfolded in history,” said Rep. Sherry Dorsey Walker, the lead sponsor of HB 198. “I am grateful to the support of my colleagues, but especially to the young people who took a leadership role in advocating for and advancing this important piece of legislation. I look forward to Governor Carney signing it into law so that future generations gain a fuller understanding of Black history.”