Monday, July 18, 2011

A New Law (The FAIR Education Act) In California Requires Schools To Teach LGBT History!

Senate bill 48 was signed just last week into law by our new Governor, Jerry Brown.

"History should be honest," the Democratic governor said in a written statement. "This bill revises existing laws that prohibit discrimination in education and ensures that the important contributions of Americans from all backgrounds and walks of life are included in our history books.

The bill (which requires public instruction in social science to include the role and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans, as well as people with disabilities and members of other cultural groups, was authored by state senator Mark Leno. It also prohibits teaching from textbooks or other instructional materials that reflect adversely on people because of their sexual orientation.

"Today we are making history in California by ensuring that our textbooks and instructional materials no longer exclude the contributions of LGBT Americans," Leno said in a written statement.

"Denying LGBT people their rightful place in history gives our young people an inaccurate and incomplete view of the world around them,"

This is so important, and such a significant step forwards.

Imagine, learning in school that Shakespeare was bisexual. That Alexander the Great was in love (and not just best friends) with Hephaestion. That President Lincoln was in love with Joshua Fry Speed. I could go on and on... There's so much GLBTQ history that's been suppressed - and now we have a tool towards unveiling and teaching real, queer-inclusive history!




Angie said...

Awesome news! :D I don't live in California anymore, but I did until a year and a half ago, so I still feel a bit proud of my native state. I hope this spreads, quickly.


The Pen and Ink Blogspot said...

At what age does this teaching begin? Kindergarten? I hope not.
In second grade my son thought having sex with a person was sitting next to them on a sofa. Young kids don't think much about sex and I believe it would be nice to keep it that way.
But I think it's great for middle and high school.

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

Thanks Angie, I agree it IS great news.

And Pen and Ink Blog, I think the teaching that some men fall in love with men and some women fall in love with women, including some famous historical people young kids are already learning about, can be completely age-appropriate. No one is talking about explaining sex (gay or straight) to pre-schoolers, but to let them know that GLBTQ people exist, and not just exist, but are important in the world? That's critical!