It appears that landmark decisions are in the air. California has become the first state to include Gay History in it’s educational mandate. Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill on Wednesday requiring public schools to include the historical contributions of gay, lesbian and transgendered Americans in it’s curriculum. The bill went through with the vote being split along party lines, as California has a Democratic-majority Legislature.
Along with many other states, California already teaches students about the history of African Americans, Mexican Americans, American Indians and other minority groups. Along with gay Americans, the bill requires that California include people with disabilities on the list.
“History should be honest,” Gov. Brown said in a statement Thursday. “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.”
Republicans spoke out against the decision. The president of a conservative family group, Randy Thomasson of Save California, said “parents will be forced to put their children in private school to avoid immoral indoctrination. [Gov.] Jerry Brown has trampled the parental rights of the overwhelming majority of California fathers and mothers who don’t want their children to be sexually brainwashed at school.”
Each school board will be able to decide what grade level is appropriate and how to implement the instruction on their own, and the textbooks will not reflect any changes until 2013. It’s a good thing public educators have always been afforded the right to decide what is appropriate for schools to teach and how to teach it, because where would we be if America had a failing educational system?
The bill’s author Democratic state Senator Mark Leno of San Francisco has said that, “Teaching gay history in public schools will teach students to be more accepting of gays and lesbians.” We agree Mr. Leno!
by Revel & Riot contributor Tammy Bannister