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Ramon Johnson

California schools may teach gay history

By April 25, 2011

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Students in California schools may soon be required to learn gay history. A bill was passed in the California State Senate last week that will require teachers to includes LGBT people to the existing list of social and ethnic groups that must be includes in social studies curriculum. Women, African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, European Americans, American Indians and entrepreneurs are already on the list of social and ethnic groups that California public schools are required to teach students about.

Teachers will have some flexibility in what they choose to teach, but textbooks and teaching materials will be required to cover contributions by LGBT people if the bill becomes law. Teachers may, for instance, include lessons on politicians like Harvey Milk, the first openly gay city official in San Francisco. The bill requires that these lessons do not "reflect adversely" on the subject matter.

Democratic Senator Mark Leno has said about the bill: "It is very basic to me that people dislike and fear that with which we are less familiar." Leno is one of the first openly gay men to be elected to the State Senate.

As expected, the bill has come up against considerable opposition. Some say that educating children on same-sex relationships should be a decision for individuals families to make, not the school system. Despite the criticism, the bill is expected to pass the largely Democratic legislature in California and to be signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. California will be the first state to mandate gay history lessons in schools.
Comments
April 28, 2011 at 10:27 pm
(1) Curt says:

It only makes sense to include such a diverse group of innovative, unique and just downright incredible people to have a good classroom discussion about or to write a paper on. You have to remember that history throughout time has always included gay people but the difference was how their sexuality was never a factor or brought up for that matter. From Harvey Milk to J Edgar Hoover children are going to not just know what they have done but they are going to know the real truth.
It’s cool think that kids are going to hear about James Baldwin, Baynard Rustin and E. Lynn Harris as well as living gay history-makers like Wanda Sykes, Billie Jean and Elton John. It is extremely vital to make sure children aren’t just hearing or knowing only half of the truth. I can’t seem to understand why it has taken this long for this to even take place. My belief is that children are finally going to end up growing into well-rounded individuals, instead of being completely afraid of the LGTB community. Especially, if they are questioning their own sexuality, beliefs and what they think they know about the world around them and the people in it. It will be a blessing to not hear the words “faggot” and “sissy” thrown around and said so loosely and so freely by children.

April 29, 2011 at 2:23 pm
(2) Paul says:

In my opinon i think all the states should teach it that way people can see that we are the same as everyone else. Im gay and it was hard for me in high school cause i did not know how my class mates were going to take it if i told them i was gay. I am 30 years old now and i wish my state had that.

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