Sunday, July 17, 2016

LGBT History Classes Are Coming to California

Expect shrieks, abundent lies and buckets of flying spittle from the Christofascists in the coming months as California's public school begin including LGBT history in its elementary through high school curriculum.   The "godly folk" are utterly outraged that students will learn about the many contributions of LGBT individuals to society not to mention that overall we are normal people like everyone else.  If you want charity and moral behavior, don't expect to find it among the "godly Christian" crowd.  The Advocate looks at the new initiative and the unrelenting Christofascists attacks that will be ongoing.   Here are excerpts:
California is hoping to bring schools into the 21st century.  On Thursday, the California State Board of Education voted on new curriculum for its history and social science courses that expands its teaching on LGBT history, including  “a study of the role of contributions” of  “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans.”
The new guidelines will extend to elementary, middle, and high school courses, as the Associated Press reports.
“In second grade, California students will learn about families with two moms or two dads,” writes the AP. “Two years later, while studying how immigrants have shaped the Golden State, they will hear how New York native Harvey Milk became a pioneering gay politician in San Francisco.”
During their senior year, students will also study the 2015 SCOTUS decision legalizing same-sex marriage, as well as the nationwide fight over public bathroom access for transgender individuals.
The updated guidelines were based in the 2012 passage of the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act. Sponsored by State Sen. Mark Leno, the legislation mandated that California K-12 institutions include marginalized groups often excluded from public school curricula. This includes people of color, religious minorities, and those with disabilities.
Conservative groups have long sought to overturn the bill, with right-wing organizations petitioning to have it struck down at the ballot box. That attempt failed, unable to collect the minimum number of signatures for inclusion.
“This document will improve the teaching and learning of history and social science,” Torlakson stated in a press release. “It will give our students access to the latest historical research and help them learn about the diversity of our state and the contributions of people and groups who may not have received the appropriate recognition in the past.”
Allyson Chiu, a junior at Cupertino High School in Cupertino, Calif., said this instruction will most crucially impact LGBT students, many of whom don’t know their history. For students seeking to become comfortable in their identity, she said that can be a lifeline.
The FAIR Education Act will likely, however, face continued obstacles to implementation, both from conservative groups and parents. Between the December 2015 and the end of February 2016, the California Department of Education received more than 10,000 emails about the bill, as the AP reports.

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