LGBTQ curriculum to be introduced into K-8 textbooks

Eileen Chen, Photo Editor

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California passed Senate Bill 48 on July 14, 2011 and became the first state to mandate LGBTQ inclusive curriculum in social studies courses. The bill officially added LGBTQ people among other groups to the Education Code Section 51204.5, which states that “a study of the role and contributions of both men and women, Native Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, European Americans, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, persons with disabilities, and members of other ethnic and cultural groups, to the economic, political, and social development of California and the United States of America, with particular emphasis on portraying the role of these groups in contemporary society.”

After obstacles such as a failed attempt by conservative groups to overturn the bill, officials are now making progress on incorporating more stories of LGBTQ people into school curriculums. State officials approved of a revised K-8 school textbook containing LGBTQ inclusive material November 2017. This puts the LGBTQ community among other minority groups that have joined California’s school curriculum, such as Holocaust survivors, suffragettes, farm laborers, and African-Americans. Along with the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2013, more and more LGBTQ representation is appearing in California and around the nation and this impact can be seen in various ways.  For example, Danica Roem became the first transgender woman to be elected state legislature this past month, winning against an anti-LGBT candidate in the race for a position in the Virginia House of Delegates.

 

The legislation’s impact may reach the educational community here at Hart High School and the surrounding school districts. Elementary and middle schools will be the most likely to be impacted as the revised textbook is focused towards students attending kindergarten to eighth grade. Hart High School has a lower chance of receiving the changes brought by this legislation as the ninth to twelfth grade student body is outside of the K-8 audience that the textbook is targeted towards.

The integration of various perspectives outside of the archaic Eurocentric point of view allows for students to be exposed to a broader spectrum of diverse viewpoints at a younger age, allowing for a more accepting further generation. It is not yet known if LGBTQ curriculum will be introduced to higher grade levels at the moment, but many of the LGBTQ community at Hart is excited about the current changes and changes to come.

“LGBTQ history is an imperative tool we need to expose young children to. Many kids go too long not knowing what or who LGBTQ people are and were, therefore delaying finding themselves in the process. Being LGBTQ is not a bad thing. We need to normalize it,” said senior Gay-Straight Alliance member Matthew Miranda.

 

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LGBTQ curriculum to be introduced into K-8 textbooks