California to include gay history lessons in schools

The California Senate has approved a bill that seeks to include the historical contributions of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans in the state's textbooks.

The bill was sponsored by state senator Mark Leno, Democrat from San Francisco, who said
"we're not teaching our children well."

"We already know in districts where this is already included in the curriculum that we see a significant drop in the amount of bullying. And we see much more respect from student to student,"

The bill would mandate schools across California include notable gay Americans in lessons. California law already requires schools to cover the contributions of women, a number of ethnic groups, entrepreneurs and labour activists. The new bill will also add people with disabilities to the list.

The bill was not passed without some debate but Senator Leno says resistance to the bill is similar to that when black history and women's history were introduced in schools.

The bill does allow individual school districts to decide when and how they want to introduce the gay history curriculum into their schools.

But opponents say the new material would only burden an already crowded curriculum.

Date: 16 April 2011


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