Should LGBT history be required in schools? | The Tylt

Should LGBT history be required in schools?

In early 2019, New Jersey became the second state to mandate LGBT history in public schools. New Jersey and California are currently the only two states to implement such state-wide requirements. Both are revising history curriculums in order to give students a more holistic view of history and to promote understanding and tolerance. Opponents of LGBT history requirements claim such pervasive measures are akin to propaganda in schools. What do you think?

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In early 2019, New Jersey joined California in requiring public schools to teach LGBT history state-wide. In addition to students' regular history lessons, they will also be leaning about the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals specifically. North Jersey's Hannan Adely reports:

The law requires that middle and high school students learn about the social, political and economic contributions of LBGT individuals, but leaves it up to local districts to determine how to teach those lessons.

Adley looked to Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle for further insight on the implementation of the new curriculum requirement. According to Huttle and other advocates, updated curriculums will provide a more comprehensive view of history, while also encouraging respect and understanding.

Huttle offered examples of potential lessons: books about children with two moms or dads, or lessons on the achievements of leaders like Barbra “Babs” Siperstein, the transgender activist from Jersey City who died Feb. 3.
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But not everyone is on board with New Jersey's new requirement. Adely continues her reporting, pointing out that some opponents feel this kind of educational mandate infringes on parents rights:

Conservative organizations have opposed proposals to teach gay and transgender history, saying such requirements take away power from parents and may encourage kids to question their sexuality.

According to Len Deo, president of the New Jersey Family Policy Council:

“We believe it further erodes the right of parents to discuss this sensitive issue with their children, if in fact schools are going to be promoting and making the claim that this particular person was an LGBTQ member,” he said.

Deo adds on App.com:

Ultimately, the law encourages revisionist history and leans dangerously close to teaching our children they are nothing more than the sum of their desires....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. 
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Although New Jersey and California are the only two states to implement a LGBT history mandate, they are not alone in pursuing greater understanding through history lessons. Massachusetts has made LGBT history optional for schools, and Illinois is in the process of passing a its own curriculum requirement. Callifornia's 2011 FAIR Education Act paved the way for these states and hopefully many more to come: 

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 are lauding the changes made in New Jersey and California not only for their inclusivity, but for the positive effects they will have on bullying. North Jersey'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 LGBT 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. 
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Some opponents to LGBT history requirements feel that a state-wide mandate is nothing more than a political ploy. In 2011, Jillian Rayfield reported on Talking Points Memo:

The Daily Caller’s Tucker Carlson called the bill “propaganda” on Fox & Friends on Tuesday. 
“At any age, teaching propaganda is wrong,” Carlson said. “No one is suggesting, and no one, as far as I know in the modern age, has ever suggested that people who are gay not be included in history. I mean, that’s ludicrous.” But, he said, this bill “would teach kids politically charged facts that are not the whole story. It would lie to kids, it would prevent schools from teaching things that somehow reflected poorly on a group that has political power.”

In response to New Jersey's new legislation, Philly.com's Kevin Riordan reported:

In a NJ101.5 FM website post headlined “NJ’s new law is another step in the indoctrination of our kids,” radio host Judi Franco fantasized about students being transformed into “guinea pigs” to create “a perfect socialist state.” 
FINAL RESULTS
Culture
Should LGBT history be required in schools?
A festive crown for the winner
#TeachLGTBQHistory
#DontNeedRequirement