Legislation Promoting Hmong History in Wisconsin
Lawmakers in Wisconsin are once again proposing making the teaching of Hmong history in Wisconsin schools mandatory. This arises racial tension resulted in the shooting of a Hmong man while he was hunting. Lawmakers hope to increase cultural understanding of Hmong history, including their involvement in the Vietnam War.
The Pioneer Press had two challenges when choosing to report on this story, which appeared on the front page of Friday's edition. They had the challenge of making proposed legislation interesting, though because this deals with cultural issue in the schools, this is made easier. They also had the challenge of making this relevant to Minnesotans, because the legislation, and the shooting that helped to spark it, have been proposed in Wisconsin. The Pioneer Press does a good job with this challenge, but mentioning that Wisconsin, Minnesota, and California have the largest Hmong populations. It even goes so far as to mention Minnesota's requirements for this kind of thing, citing that we already have a version of this standard in place.
The Green Bay Press-Gazette also reported on this story. Their story has more of a local flavor, because they can treat it as such. It also uses quotes from specific representatives for the Assembly, and from Green Bay's school district. It has more reaction from the community, compared to the Pioneer Press article, which is comparing the proposed bill with Minnesota's standards.
Both stories mention the shooting of Cha Vang as part of the motivation for this bill, though it was brought up last legislative session as well. Both also mention, more than once, that the Hmong played a role in the Vietnam War. That role is only explained in the Pioneer Press article, which also provides more background information on the shooting of Cha Vang, probably because its Minnesotan readers are less familiar with that piece of news.