A school district in New Jersey voted this week to become the first in the state to require an African-American history course to graduate.
Cherry Hill School’s board voted 8-0 – with one abstention – to make the class compulsory for its nearly 11,000 students, According to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Reportedly, following the murder of George Floyd’s police, the pace for the move picked up and was led by the students.
“We felt it was really compulsory. It was compulsory,” said 17-year-old Joey Thomas, a senior at Cherry Hill High School East. “We think everybody should be culturally aware and aware as a nation.”
The district’s curriculum director, Farah Mahan, argued that the change in policy would help in combating the inherent bias on the part of students and teachers.
“Think about the tea moments that come during this course,” Mahan told the outlet. “There is no history without black history.”
Cherry Hill schools are 57 percent white, 18 percent Asian, 13 percent Hispanic, and 8 percent African-American.
Two teachers will be hired to help implement the new requirement in the district and will also implement the current syllabus for cultural sensitivity as per the report.
The outlet said that district teachers would also be given special training to teach African-American history.