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Politics & Government

Black history education bill clears another hurdle

Joe Irizarry
Delaware Public Media

Legislation requiring schools in Delaware to implement curriculum on Black History for all students advances out of the Senate Education Committee.


"I think teaching African American history throughout the year is a fantastic idea," said State Sen. Colin Bonini (R-Dover South), who supports the bill which already passed the House, and now faces a full vote in the Senate.

The legislation will require each school district and charter school to establish and implement a curriculum on Black History for K through 12 students.

But State Sen. Elizabeth Lockman (D-Wilmington) says it's not just about historic dates and figures

"The expectation being the incorporation of contemporary events into those discussions of Black history and using it into art, science, social studies, math, language arts, and English, and the bill - of course - outlines some very specific ways that is expected to be accomplished," said Lockman.

Senate Education Committee Chair Sen. Laura Sturgeon (D-Brandywine West) says this bill’s importance was apparent during a Monday event in Hockessin where many shared they didn’t know Delaware’s role in the 1954 Supreme Court ruling declaring racial segregation in schools unconstitutional.

"Even though we grew up and were educated in Delaware we never knew that we had a couple of really important parts to play in Brown v Board of Education in Claymont and Hockessin, and the fact that we didn't learn about that growing up and going to school in Delaware just emphasized how important the bill we're about to hear is," said Sturgeon.

House sponsor State Rep. Sherry Dorsey Walker (D-Wilmington) says she hopes this bill can shift hearts and that the open, honest, necessary, conversations can start. 

The legislation received bipartisan support in the Senate Education Committee.

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