'A sense of identity': Salinas high schools to require ethnic studies in fall 2020

Salinas Union High School District will incorporate an ethnic studies requirement, beginning with the class of 2024. The move follows state legislative efforts to further educate students on diversity in their communities.

The SUHSD board of trustees voted March 26 to approve a semester-long high school course in ethnic studies, dropping the mandated health course from a full year to just one semester. It is the first public school district in Monterey County to pass an ethnic studies requirement.

The measure passed 4-2, with trustees Carlos Rubio, Patty Padilla-Salsberg, Anthony Rocha and Sandra Ocampo supporting the new requirement. Trustees Kristina Szaszy-Jones and Jorge Rojas voted against the measure. Trustee Phillip Tabera was not present.

Freshmen entering in 2020 will be the first students subject to the new requirement.

"For the personal development of children, it’s important to understand their background to be culturally aware of your upbringing and to be aware of the history of our upbringings," Rocha said. "It helps them build a sense of identity."

Read more by Eduardo Cuevas at The Californian.com