The New York state Department of Education announced Tuesday it would cancel this year’s new Regents exam for U.S. history and government over the concern of worsening student trauma the recent mass shooting in Buffalo that left 10 people dead and three injured.

In a letter released Tuesday, state Education Commissioner Betty Rosa wrote that officials “determined there is content on the new Regents Examination in United States History and Government (Framework) that has the potential to compound student trauma caused by the recent violence in Buffalo.”

“While developed by NYS-certified social studies teachers more than two years ago and field-tested to confirm that the exam's content is educationally sound, the tragedy in Buffalo has created an unexpected and unintended context for the planned assessment,” the letter also reads. “In the wake of the Buffalo tragedy, it is not appropriate to administer the exam with a question that could compound the grief and hardship faced by our school communities.”

Rosa said that the 2022 exams have already been printed and packaged for shipment to schools so they cannot be altered. The exam was scheduled for June 1.

At the June Board of Regents meeting, the Education Department will ask the board to approve a graduation exemption for students scheduled to take this test next month.

“New York has exceptional school communities that show unwavering dedication to their students,” the letter reads. “The Department is committed to supporting our students, schools and communities in the wake of the tragedy in Buffalo. We will work together to ensure that goodness and compassion will always triumph over ignorance and hatred. Thank you for everything that you do every day to support children.”


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