Diversity wins! Public schools have been heavily criticized for years about the lack of diversity and historical accuracy regarding their curriculum—but one local Illinois public school is aiming to change things through the help of LGBTQ history.
@CNN reports that on August 9th Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker officially signed a bill into law ensuring that the contributions of LGBTQ people are taught in all public schools statewide. House Bill 246 was introduced by House Representative Anna Moelle, which amends the school code to add more inclusive history curriculum.
The details of the bill further state:
“In public schools only, the teaching of history shall include a study of the roles and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of this country and this State.”
Some of the topics that will be introduced in the new LGBTQ-based curriculum include the nation’s first gay rights organization, the Society for Human Rights, being formed in 1924 in Chicago, and Sally Ride, the first US woman in space, who was a lesbian.
Additionally, underneath the bill all textbooks “authorized to be purchased must include the roles and contributions of all people protected under the Illinois Human Rights Act and must be non-discriminatory as to any of the characteristics under the Act.”
One of the major supporters of the bill, Senator Heather Steans, expressed her hope that by included LGBTQ curriculum, it will drastically cut down on harassment and intolerance towards LGBTQ students:
“One of the best ways to overcome intolerance is through education and exposure to different people and viewpoints. An inclusive curriculum will not only teach an accurate version of history but also promote acceptance of the LGBTQ community. It is my hope that teaching students about the valuable contributions LGBTQ individuals have made throughout history will create a safer environment with fewer incidents of harassment. LGBTQ children and teenagers will also be able to gain new role models who share life experiences with them.”
The House Bill 246 is set to officially go in effect in July 2020.
Roommates, what are your thoughts on this?