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It has been a centuries long battle but finally progress is afoot. California is making educational history by including LGBT history in textbooks.
This makes California the 1st state who will teach LGBT history for students in 4th grade and up.
Six years ago, California became the first state to mandate that students be taught about the contributions of and trials faced by LGBT people in social studies classes. After many delays and much heated debate over the details — including a failed attempt to bury the law by conservative groups — state officials reached a milestone this November when they voted for the FAIR Education Act, which was born from an epidemic of suicides among LGBT youth.
The law approves the first revised K-8 textbooks to include the mandated material.
For many this is seen as putting the LGBT community on equal footing with other groups that children learn about, as students study the history of black Americans and farm laborers, women suffragists and Holocaust survivors.
This was heralded by many on social media.
Experts have been devising a plan on how to best include these stories in age-appropriate and relevant ways, training teachers on how to navigate complex discussions like gender and sexual orientation at a time when kids are also learning about multiplication and color wheels.
It is imperative that kids see and understand different spectrums early on, allowing also to see themselves.
Of course this decision did meet some blowback
Changing textbooks is a slow process, just like changing attitudes. It will be years before the California curriculum is reflected in the mandates the rest of the states. But advocates believe this will be one of those times when California sets a precedent to follow.
Don Romesburg, a strong advocate and a professor of women’s and gender studies at Sonoma State University who has consulted on the curriculum stated, "the changes are about giving students a more realistic understanding of the past and a vocabulary for the present.”
Gay people have always been here it's now time that everyone acknowledge it.
California is also the perfect testing ground. The state holds the largest number of students in the US. By 2020 it's said California will have upwards of 6.5 million students in K-8, learning from these texts.
Think of the PROGRESS!!