Teach LGBT issues in public schools
Given that school children across the United States are required to devote time in their educational careers to women's history, black history and the histories of other minority groups in the country, it would make a lot of sense to add lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) history to this list. We're glad to see the California state legislature taking the lead in this move with Democratic lawmakers' attempts to push SB 48, a bill that would require public schools in the state to teach LGBT history and achievements to their students. We think it's a great idea, and it could have many positive outcomes. As Sen. Mark Leno, D-Calif., the man who introduced the bill, said himself, "Imagine how different the interaction among students would be if, in an age-appropriate fashion — this issue of homosexuality and this issue of the LGBT community is all part of a civil rights movement."
When you get down to it, it is true that the current struggle for LGBT rights in our nation is another in a long line of civil rights movements. Given our nation's track record when it comes to these movements, we hope to see some breakthroughs made as soon as possible. What better way to foster understanding, respect and tolerance then to teach our children about the LGBT community and its struggles and achievements? This could help to combat, or possibly eliminate completely, the sort of prejudices instilled in children by some members of their communities. Hopefully, an inclusion of LGBT issues in school curricula will lead to a day when members of the LGBT community won't be faced with so many challenges.
Of course, there are opponents to this bill, such as Sen. Bob Huff, R-Calif, who claims that LGBT education would "sexualize the training of our children at an early age." Perhaps our country wouldn't be faced with so many LGBT rights problems if we didn't teach our children to be afraid and ashamed of sex and sexuality from such a young age. Would it necessarily be such a terrible thing to "sexualize" our children's education? To some degree, not at all.
We hope to see SB 48 succeed in California, and we hope to see other states follow suit.