California is the first state to teach LGBT history in schools
The State of California made history this week by becoming the first state to require LGBT rights be taught in schools.
The State’s Board of Education unanimously approved changing instructions given to teachers to comply with a new state law that requires public schools to include historic gay Americans and mark LGBT milestones.
The initial framework will see second graders learn about families with same-sex parents and two years later, in history, pupils will learn about Harvey Milk and how he championed gay rights in San Francisco.
In more senior years, pupils will be taught about gender roles, the Supreme Court ruling, which legalised same-sex marriage and the recent controversy over transgender bathrooms.
The change is part of a larger overhaul of the State’s social science curriculum. During the public testimony, while people objected to how Muslims, Jews and other faith groups were portrayed – no one objected to the inclusion of LGBT rights and history.
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Allyson Chiu, a student from Cupertino High School, said that including LGBT issues would improve understanding among children and young adults.
“My classmates can solve quadratic equations or cite the elements on the periodic table. They can’t tell you who Harvey Milk was or the significance of the Stonewall Riots,” she told the public hearing.
The legislation that has seen the changes take effect also prohibits schools from teaching anything that can be seen as discriminatory or will adversely impact the LGBT community.
Conservative groups argued this should be up to parents, but this was rejected by lawmakers.