California law requires schools to teach LGBT history

July 15, 2011

Public schools in California will be required to teach students about the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans starting Jan. 1 after Gov. Jerry Brown  signed a controversial bill on Thursday. [SFGate]

Social sciences curriculum textbooks now must include information on the role of LGBT Americans, as well as Americans with disabilities, though California’s budget crisis has delayed the purchasing of new books until at least 2015, the San Francisco Chronicle said.

“History should be honest,” Brown, a Democrat, said in a statement. “This bill revises existing laws that prohibit discrimination in education and ensures that the important contributions of Americans from all backgrounds and walks of life are included in our history books.”

The governor called the legislation, SB48, introduced by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, “historic.”

The law adds lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people as well as people with disabilities to the list of groups that schools must include in the lessons. It also prohibits material that reflects adversely on gays.


50 Comments

  1. whatisup says:

    SB 48
    THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

    SECTION 1. Section 51204.5 of the Education Code is amended to
    read:
    51204.5. Instruction in social sciences shall include the early
    history of California and a study of the role and contributions of
    both men and women, Native Americans, African Americans, Mexican
    Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, European Americans,
    lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, persons with
    disabilities, and members of other ethnic and cultural groups, to the
    economic, political, and social development of California and the
    United States of America, with particular emphasis on portraying the
    role of these groups in contemporary society.
    SEC. 2. Section 51500 of the Education Code is amended to read:
    51500. A teacher shall not give instruction and a school district
    shall not sponsor any activity that promotes a discriminatory bias
    on the basis of race or ethnicity, gender, religion, disability,
    nationality, sexual orientation, or because of a characteristic
    listed in Section 220.
    SEC. 3. Section 51501 of the Education Code is amended to read:
    51501. The state board and any governing board shall not adopt
    any textbooks or other instructional materials for use in the public
    schools that contain any matter reflecting adversely upon persons on
    the basis of race or ethnicity, gender, religion, disability,
    nationality, sexual orientation, or because of a characteristic
    listed in Section 220.
    SEC. 4. Section 60040 of the Education Code is amended to read:
    60040. When adopting instructional materials for use in the
    schools, governing boards shall include only instructional materials
    which, in their determination, accurately portray the cultural and
    racial diversity of our society, including:
    (a) The contributions of both men and women in all types of roles,
    including professional, vocational, and executive roles.
    (b) The role and contributions of Native Americans, African
    Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders,
    European Americans, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender
    Americans, persons with disabilities, and members of other ethnic and
    cultural groups to the total development of California and the
    United States.
    (c) The role and contributions of the entrepreneur and labor in
    the total development of California and the United States.
    SEC. 5. Section 60044 of the Education Code is amended to read:
    60044. A governing board shall not adopt any instructional
    materials for use in the schools that, in its determination, contain:

    (a) Any matter reflecting adversely upon persons on the basis of
    race or ethnicity, gender, religion, disability, nationality, sexual
    orientation, occupation, or because of a characteristic listed in
    Section 220.
    (b) Any sectarian or denominational doctrine or propaganda
    contrary to law.
    SEC. 6. It is the intent of the Legislature that alternative and
    charter schools take notice of the provisions of this act in light of
    Section 235 of the Education Code, which prohibits discrimination on
    the basis of disability, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity,
    religion, sexual orientation, or other specified characteristics in
    any aspect of the operation of alternative and charter schools.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

    • easymoney says:

      Can’t say as I ever saw a single book that my kids were taught from that discriminated against anyone. Makes me wonder why now and what is the real agenda?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

      • zaphod says:

        Discrimination by exclusion you never see what/who has been left out.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 10

        • whatisup says:

          Who are the specific members of the LGBT group of Americans who have made the significant contributions to CA history that have been left out of the text books? Other than Harvey Milk I have never heard another name.

          Harvey Milk made history by being the first openly gay man elected in California to office in 1977 on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. This is historical and should be noted in the history books, but he only served 11 months before he and Mayor Mascone were assassinated (nothing to do with Milk being gay).

          What other individuals do the proponents of this bill claim were over looked because they were LGBT by the historians who have written the CA history textbooks?

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  2. srichison says:

    Brown says this “ensures that the important contributions of Americans from all backgrounds and walks of life are included in our history books.”

    Really? ALL backgrounds? ALL walks of life? Not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 3

  3. isoslo says:

    School budgets are under extreme hardship, teachers are being laid off, we cannot afford to upgrade school equipment and now we get to waste valuable resources trying to implement another stupid liberal law. California is the laughing stock of the world.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  4. slomike says:

    The cogent, correctly spelled, clearly worded attacks are so persuasive. Syntax? Overruled! And the votes in those comment’s favor? Priceless.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 11

  5. willie says:

    This is sick
    Parents have no right to tell a public school because it is law to not sub-note or highlight a person’s sexual preference (heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bi-sexual).
    Or am I in error because it’s only fair that because historic person’s religious, political and other background (bibliography) makes it fair?
    I give up!
    Anyone know of a place where the people vote on laws and taxes and not the damn legislators or governor?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 3

  6. SLORider says:

    How about we just teach history?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 2

  7. pasoparent5 says:

    Can someone please list a famous “transgendered” person in history? Just one?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 2

    • willie says:

      This is what worries me.
      I attended UCLA for some courses with a longtime friend who later unveiled being gay.
      He is now Barbara Stressand’s personal attorney, a good hearted down to earth person.
      He does not need glory (nor would he) to boast his sucess (being gay is his personal business).
      I have not spoke to him for a long time and will look foward to get his take on this.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

    • zaphod says:

      Walter used the money from Switched on Bach to become Wendy,
      Wendy Carlos
      there are others, If you use a computer the founder of computer science was Alan Turing , had he stayed in the closet he may have lived long enough to be accepted for who he was but he disclosed his preference and was harassed to suicide 1954. (an incalculable loss for humanity IMHO)

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 11

    • zaphod says:

      Just google search the phrase, do you want a long list or a short list what is your preference ?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 9

      • Citizen says:

        Surely there are better lists. A list with Sister Boom Boom and Vagina Davis , famous drag queens, is not what I expect the schools to use.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

    • willie says:

      Governor Brown should have vetoed the bill and should have said:
      Personal preference is not the business of the government to influence.
      Respect for all people is legally require regardless of their personal preference.
      People should respect other people regardless of their personal preference based on the spirt of a basic golden rule.
      Government has no place in this.
      BUT HE DID NOT, ITS POLITICAL.
      I voted for him but will no longer support him nor any of the lected legislators.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 4

    • oto says:

      Read this 2009 case: Schroer v. Library of Congress. Here is one link you can copy into your address bar:

      http://gendertree.com/Schroyor_V._Library%20of%20Congress.htm

      Or, just “Google” the title of the case and choose your own link.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  8. Paso_Guy says:

    I wonder if the textbooks will reflect the gays refusing to close the bath houses in SF back in the early 80’s. The spread of aides was facilitated by that decision and was a historical decision.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 3

  9. Typoqueen says:

    I’m not in the mood to argue with you righties today. I’ll just say that this new legislation will probably prevent a number of teen suicides and it will help some close minded bullies see reality. Even if one life is saved then it’s worth it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 28

    • Side_Show_Bob says:

      Uhhhhhhhhhhhh No it’s not.

      Love the specious reasoning. Let’s pollute ALL the young minds so that one person can feel good about themselves?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 5

      • The Gimlet Eye says:

        Side_Show_Bob, that’s how she thinks. Or, is it “he”?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

    • danika says:

      “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.” I’m guessing you wanna light just one candle in this dark world…Just wait til they begin to teach beastiality, S&M, and other diverse sexual behaviors/lifestyles to our children. I’m sure you will be totally okay with that as well.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

Comments are closed.