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In response to Buffalo mass shooting, New York state cancels U.S. History and Government Regents exam

History, Government Regents exams canceled in Buffalo after mass shooting
History, Government Regents exams canceled in Buffalo after mass shooting 02:10

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- There has been another decision to cancel a New York State Regents exam. But this time it has nothing to do with COVID-19.

The state Department of Education is cancelling next week's U.S. History and Government exam.

CBS2's Tony Aiello has more on the reason why it is connected to the mass shooting in Buffalo.

Eleventh graders at White Plains High School got the news on Tuesday afternoon. The statewide June 1 exam is no more.

"Yeah, a bit of a surprise, but, you know, the last three years have been surprises," White Plains High history chairman Richard Dillon said.

Dillon carefully read a letter explaining the decision.

State Education Commissioner Betty Rosa wrote, "The tragedy in Buffalo has created an unexpected and unintended context for the planned assessment. Our experts determined that there is content on the examination that has the potential to compound student trauma caused by the recent violence in Buffalo."

The exact concern about Buffalo was not explained. The test was prepared months before the May 14 killing of 10 innocent Black people.

"I'm not sure what the content was, but I'm sure that in their infinite wisdom that they pulled back for reasons that they felt were valid," Dillon said.

"Their experts had a chance to look over the materials again after and recognized that there could be some things that could trigger some emotions of students," White Plains High School Principal Emerly Martinez said.

Martinez said he believes the state is acting in good faith to protect students who have been on a Regents rollercoaster. Various January exams were cancelled due to the Omicron outbreak.

At the end of the day, the White Plains 11th graders did not prep in vain for the U.S. History and Government Regents exam. The district will create and administer its own year-end history test.

"Which probably will mirror what they would have had anyway," Dillon said.

Multiple Regents exams in 2020 and '21 were also canceled due to COVID. Educators say cancelling the history regents will not impact 11th graders next year applying for college.

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