California Panel Adopts History Textbooks With LGBT-Inclusive Themes

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The California State Board of Education unanimously approved Thursday an update to the state’s public school curriculum incorporating LGBT issues into history and social science.

The History-Social Sciences Framework will integrate LGBT content into elementary, middle and high school classes.
Teachers are encouraged to read stories to second-grade students featuring “a very diverse collection of families,” including “families with lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender parents and their children.”

The Framework cautions teachers not to “assume any particular family structure and ask questions in a way that will easily include children from diverse family backgrounds.”

In history classes, fourth graders will study Harvey Milk, a pioneering gay politician from San Francisco.

Don Romesburg, director of the Framework’s Committee on LGBT History, said the new Framework “allows students to think critically and expansively about how the past relates to the present and future roles that they can play in an inclusive and respectful society.”

Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California, said incorporating LGBT issues into the curriculum will cut down on bullying targeting LGBT students.

“An LGBT-inclusive curriculum helps create an environment where all students can thrive,” Mr. Zbur said in a statement. “And by seeing themselves reflected in lessons and materials, students’ experiences are validated and their sense of self-worth reinforced, creating the opportunity for students to be able to achieve academically.”

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