In 2011, California became the first state to adopt guidelines for teaching LGBTI history in K-12 schools. The state is now looking at new materials that meet these guidelines, including 12 textbooks.
However, some groups are taking issue with the textbooks.
Our Family Coalition (OFC) and Equality California are meeting with the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) to go over the materials. They recommend the IQC reject all but two of the textbooks with varying levels of changes.
‘It’s literally making history,’ said Renata Moreira, executive director of OFC.
Former Democratic Senator Mark Leno authored the original law, known as the FAIR Education Act.
‘The historically inaccurate exclusion of LGBT Americans in social sciences instruction as well as the spreading of negative stereotypes in school activities sustains an environment of discrimination and bias in school throughout California,’ he said when introducing the bill.
Moreira continued: ‘We had historical figures that actually had same-sex relationships and contributed in positive ways.’
Some of the textbooks completely erase the history, according to reports, while others simply need changes and additions.
What will the textbooks teach students?
According to the Act’s website, students could learn things like persecution of the LGBTI community during the Holocaust. Other lessons could include the debate around Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
People are rallying around inclusive textbooks.
‘As a young person, I was often made fun of and called gay in a derogatory way for participating in extracurricular activities like dance,’ a letter reads in support of the Act.
OFC posted the letter in a tweet.
— Our Family Coalition (@ourfamily) September 28, 2017
The IQC should make a decision soon.