As the Illinois House of Representatives convened during the week, State Representative Seth Lewis (R-Bartlett) voted in favor of a measure that would ensure that Asian-American history is taught in Illinois schools.
House Bill 376 would require that a unit on Asian-American history is taught in public elementary and high schools starting in the 2022-2023 school year. During floor debate, Lewis rose to ask the legislation’s sponsor to ensure that the contributions of Asian-Indian-Americans, who are an often-overlooked part of the wider Asian community, are also taught to students.
“First and foremost, there is no room for hate toward any group of people in our country, and the rise in violence toward Asian-Americans is something we should all be concerned about,” said Lewis. “My wife is Asian-Indian-American, and my children are Asian-Indian-American. In my district, there is a large and vibrant community of people from India. My vote on this bill was a chance to be a voice for them – to recognize their contributions and the contributions of the larger Asian community to building our great nation.”
House Bill 376 passed on a bipartisan roll-call and now heads to the Illinois Senate for consideration in that chamber.