Rhode Island Passes Civics, Black History Curriculum Bills

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Rhode Island General Assembly has passed bills that will require public school students to be taught civics and Black history.

The civics bill by Rep. Brian Newberry, R-North Smithfield, was approved Thursday, the Providence Journal reported.

Starting with the graduating class of 2025, students will be required to take a class between the 8th and the 12th grade where they will conduct a local research project to demonstrate their knowledge of American civics.

A bill by Rep. Anastasia P. Williams was also passed that requires Black history to be taught in Rhode Island elementary and secondary schools.

The bill is intended to ensure that students are educated in African heritage and history by the time they graduate from high school so that they have a more comprehensive understanding of the role Rhode Island played in the American slave trade, as well as the contributions African Americans have made to society.

“As we have witnessed over the past year, the connections that hold our society together are fragile, but these connections can become strong through respect, compassion, and most importantly, truth,” Williams said.