At a time when the political climate regarding the inclusion of Mexicans, Muslims, people with brown skin, those who identify as LGBTQ+, and those who are diagnosed with disabilities, is that of hate and division, one state is leading the way to teach inclusion and acceptance in public schools. This trailblazing approach to education is especially important as states continue to have “no promo homo” laws on their books.
The Los Angeles Times reports that in 2016 the California State Board of Education voted on a new History-Science curriculum that includes “a study of the role of contributions” of minority groups, including “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans.” Those education frameworks are now being implemented and put to the test.
California has long been a state known for being more inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community. With that said, the notion of incorporating education around individuals from those communities who have made notable contributions to American history/culture into public schools as early as the elementary level, is still a very new concept.
To keep the instruction developmentally and age-appropriate, for younger students, teachers have been told to introduce literature that features “a very diverse collection of families,” meaning “families with lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender parents and their children.” Teachers are warned not to:
‘. . .assume any particular family structure and ask questions in a way that will easily include children from diverse family backgrounds.’
In social studies, students will be introduced to notable members of the LGBTQ+ community who have made contributions to California history. So that there is a true scaffold of the instruction, middle and high school pupils will study how gender roles/norms have changed from the 18th century, forward.
Through this new curriculum students will also be given the opportunity to learn about people who have changed norms and challenged traditional values.
While Donald Trump and his flunkies do the absolute most to divide, exclude, and minimize people who aren’t like them, it’s truly reflective of the American spirit of inclusion, diversity, and acceptance to see California make teaching about differences part of their public school curriculum. It’s matters like this that validate the state’s reasons for wanting to secede.
To see how one California teacher incorporates the new curriculum into her instruction, watch below:
Featured Image via Getty/Bloomberg/Contributor