New York cancels history and government Regents exam in wake of Buffalo mass shooting

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Tuesday, May 24, 2022
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ALBANY, New York (WABC) -- The New York State Department of Education is canceling its U.S. History and Government Regents exam scheduled for June 1 in the aftermath of the Buffalo mass shooting.

"Our experts determined that 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," Commissioner Betty Rosa said.

Ten Black people killed on May 14 when a white gunman wearing body armor and a helmet-mounted camera targeted shoppers and workers at a Tops Friendly Market.

Three others were injured in the attack, which federal authorities are investigating as a hate crime.

Rosa said that after the shooting, the education department took numerous steps to explore potential areas of support for students and schools across the state. Such actions include having content experts review all June 2022 Regents Exams, which have already been printed and packaged for shipment to schools.

During that review, the experts found the potentially traumatic content.

"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," Rosa said. "It is not possible to produce a test with different content or to make modifications to the developed assessment in the short time period before the administration date. To appropriately support our students and their well-being, the department is canceling the administration of the...examination."

The alleged gunman, 18-year-old Payton Gendron, of Conklin, has been charged with murder and is being held without bail.

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The white man accused of killing 10 Black people at a Buffalo supermarket appeared briefly in court Thursday after a grand jury indicted him on first-degree murder.


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