California Approves LGBT-Inclusive Text Books For Elementary School Students

The state becomes the first in the country to require inclusion of LGBT history in approved texts.

Last week, California became the first state to adopt an elementary-school curriculum that includes LGBT-specific content.

The California State Board of Education voted Thursday to adopt ten new inclusive social-studies and history textbooks for grades K-8. The board also rejected two books that failed to acknowledge the contributions of LGBT people.

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The 2011 Fair Education Act officially added LGBT people and those with disabilities to the list of groups that required to be included in history curricula. After sometimes heated debate, the act is finally being implemented with the approval of the new texts.

“This long fought victory is the next step for California students to learn about the contributions and history of LGBTQ people” said Equality California’s Rick Zbur. “Approval of these textbooks means that California schools will now have access to approved materials that accurately represent LGBTQ people.”

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Meanwhile, there are at least eight states with “no promo homo” laws explicitly prohibiting the inclusion of LGBT people in public-school curriculum: Alabama, Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Utah. Some require teaching that being gay is “is not a lifestyle acceptable to the general public.” Others forbid schools from portraying LGBT people in a positive light, or simply ban any discussion altogether.

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