News (USA)

Will LGBT curriculum be taught in California schools soon?

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — After multiple delays, California education officials are moving to comply with the nation’s first law requiring public schools to include prominent gay people and LGBT rights milestones in history classes.

A curriculum outline scheduled to be reviewed by the State Board of Education on Thursday would introduce the concepts in second grade through discussions about diverse families and again in fourth grade with lessons on California’s place in the gay rights movement.

The proposed outline also touches on the topics in fifth and eighth grade — looking at gender roles in the 18th and 19th centuries and examples of individuals who flouted them — and throughout high school.

A capstone of sorts would come in U.S. government courses, where seniors would learn about the 2015 Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide and recent court cases involving bathroom access for transgender students.

The changes are designed to satisfy legislation passed by California lawmakers five years ago that added LGBT Americans and people with disabilities to the list of social and ethnic groups whose contributions schools are supposed to teach and must appear in K-8 textbooks.

The legislation, known as SB48, also prohibited the adoption of any classroom materials that reflect adversely on gays or particular religions.

The law officially took effect in January 2012, but its implementation was slowed by two failed attempts by opponents to overturn it, budget cuts that put work on drafting recommendations for the school board and textbook purchases on hold, and competing educational priorities.

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