Virginia Dems rejects new communism curriculum after teachers union said it could offend Asians
Virginia Democrats last week rejected a bill that would have required schools to teach about the dangers and victims of communism after the state’s largest teachers union argued that it may encourage anti-Asian sentiment.
Emily Yen, a research coordinator for the Virginia Education Association (VEA), said the union opposed HB 1816 because four out of five current communist regimes are in Asian countries.
“We are concerned that this bill would subject Asian-American students to anti-Asian sentiments,” she said.
Today the five remaining communist regimes are China, Laos, North Korea, and Vietnam – all in East Asia – as well as Cuba, which is in the Caribbean.
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In the 20th century, communism penetrated vast reaches of the globe, including, most notably, Russia and its peripheral vassal states, which formed the Soviet Union. Communism also influenced governments in Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America.
There were also Asian countries in which communism failed to take root, including Thailand, Japan, and South Korea.
Introduced by Del. John Avoli, R-Staunton, last month, HB 1816 would have required schools to teach about the dangers and victims of communism. It would have also required Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin to annually issue a proclamation setting Nov. 7 as Victims of Communism Day.
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The holiday would have been observed in each public elementary and secondary school in Virginia “as a day honoring the approximately 100 million individuals who have fallen victim to communist regimes around the world and to be suitably observed by a public exercise in the Capitol and elsewhere as the Governor may designate in such proclamation.”
HB 1816 was “passed by indefinitely” along party lines in the state Senate’s Education and Health subcommittee, meaning the legislation can be reconsidered at a later meeting. If the committee takes no further action, the bill is considered dead.
Opponents had argued that the bill was unnecessary, pointing out that the current state curriculum already requires the teaching of communism and its history.