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Conaway & Murphy Bill to Require Racial Discrimination, Social Justice Instruction in NJ Middle Schools Passes Committee

(TRENTON) – Middle school students in New Jersey would learn about racial discrimination and social justice as part of their social studies lessons under legislation approved Thursday by the Assembly Education Committee.

The measure (A-4545) sponsored by Assembly Democrats Herb Conaway and Carol Murphy (both D-Burlington) would require the New Jersey Commissioner of Education, in consultation with the Amistad Commission, to provide school districts with age-appropriate sample activities and resources designed to enhance students’ overall understanding of issues surrounding racial discrimination and social justice.

The sponsors released the following joint statement:

“We often look to the next generation as a symbol of hope for a brighter future. To reach that better tomorrow, it’s incumbent upon us to teach our children of both our triumphs and failures, our progress and lingering injustices.

“Black history is American history. Middle school students typically learn about slavery, the Civil War and the civil rights movement, but there’s more we can do to teach children about racial discrimination and social justice issues that are tightly interwoven into the fabric of our past and present. These lessons are too important not to have a place in our classrooms.”