Should LGBT history be required in schools? | The Tylt

Should LGBT history be required in schools?

This August, Illinois became the fourth state to mandate LGBT history in public schools, joining California, New Jersey and Colorado in an effort to promote inclusivity in the classroom. The states are revising history curriculums in order to give students a more holistic view of the past and to promote understanding and tolerance. Opponents of an LGBT history mandate worry blanket requirements infringe on parents' rights. What do you think?

FINAL RESULTS
Culture
Should LGBT history be required in schools?
A festive crown for the winner
#TeachLGTBQHistory
#DontNeedRequirement
Dataviz
Real-time Voting
Should LGBT history be required in schools?
#TeachLGTBQHistory
#DontNeedRequirement
#TeachLGTBQHistory

Above all else, educational institutions should promote empathy, understanding and conversation. In order to do so properly, schools much address the country's true history and include lessons on civil rights movements of the past and present and on marginalized figures. 

Illinois is now the fourth state to take up this charge by passing legislation that will require public schools to include LGBTQ+ history in the curriculum.  The Washington Examiner's John Gage reports:

“One of the best ways to overcome intolerance is through education and exposure to different people and viewpoints,” Democratic state Sen. Heather Steans, a sponsor of the bill, said. “An inclusive curriculum will not only teach an accurate version of history but also promote acceptance of the LGBTQ community.”
#DontNeedRequirement

But some feel blanket requirements like these infringe on parents' rights. After New Jersey passed its own law requiring LGBTQ+ history in public schools, NorthJersey.com's Hannan Adeley refers to Lan Deo, president of the New Jersey Family Policy Council, who said of the law:

“We believe it further erodes the right of parents to discuss this sensitive issue with their children..."

Deo expands on his opinion on App.com:

Parents' job in raising their children just became harder. Schools may be teaching this curriculum without their knowledge. It is important that they become more involved in their local public schools. 
#TeachLGTBQHistory

 Callifornia's 2011 FAIR Education Act paved the way for other states to create LGBTQ+ history requirements. According to Edsource.org:

The 2011 passage of California’s FAIR Education Act mandated that LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) accomplishments be taught in our history and social studies classrooms in an age-appropriate manner. This law doesn’t teach morality; it teaches our students that gay Americans have been an integral part of our society and continue to shape our current world.

Many have celebrated these changes in New Jersey, Illinois and more, not only for their inclusive nature, but for the positive effects they will have on bullying. NorthJersey.com's Adely reports:

Students said they had been teased, targeted or harassed because of their sexual orientation or the way they expressed their gender, according to a 2017 survey by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, or GLSEN.

In the long-run, a LGBTQ+ history requirement could make huge strides in counteracting bullying by promoting tolerance among students of all genders and sexualities. As EdSource's James Hilton Harrell puts it:

Representation matters. Seeing that there have been gay people throughout American history is an important first step to letting our current students know that they can and will achieve greatness, just as others have done before them. 
#DontNeedRequirement

As Kevin Riordan writes for the Philadelphia Inquirer, some worry the backlash from LGBTQ+ history requirements will do more harm than good for some students. Riordan writes: 

So while we LGBT folks are generally happy to have our role in history acknowledged and our stories told, we know all too well that in some circles, the merest mention of our existence in, say, a middle school textbook, will be condemned.

However, Riordan ultimately supports LGTBQ+ history requirements and celebrates the New Jersey law in question. Nevertheless, states with these requirements face a number of obstacles, including slow classroom implementation. According to U.S. News and World Report's Casey Leins

"We haven't seen these schools get on board with these new textbooks yet," Dominic Le Fort, executive director of the California-based nonprofit group Queer Education that works with schools on how to teach LGBT topics, told The Bay Area Reporter. "We have seen a lot of schools dragging their feet."
FINAL RESULTS
Culture
Should LGBT history be required in schools?
A festive crown for the winner
#TeachLGTBQHistory
#DontNeedRequirement