Metro Weekly

Illinois Senate votes in favor of teaching LGBTQ history in schools

The bill would require a unit on LGBTQ history to be taught in all public schools in the state

Illinois Senators have voted in favor of a bill that would require LGBTQ history to be taught in all public schools in the state.

The bill, which was introduced last month, passed in a 34-18 vote on Wednesday and now moves to the House.

If it becomes law, the bill would require a unit on “the role and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of this country and [Illinois]” to be taught at all public elementary and high schools.

The bill also notes that an LGBTQ curriculum would be consistent with current education policies that require units on contributions of other minority groups, including Hispanics, Asian-Americans and African-Americans.

Sen. Heather Steans, who sponsored the bill, said that a gay-inclusive curriculum would “provide positive reinforcement for LGBTQ students by highlighting the important contributions of other LGBTQ individuals.”

School boards would determine how much time would be spent on the subject and they must reinforce inclusion among classmates.

California is the only other state to have a required LGBTQ curriculum. Massachusetts recently introduced a similar lesson plan that is optional for schools.

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