LAUSD schoolbooks coming out of the closet?

In a move that could result in the LAUSD and all California schools needing to replace and pay for new schoolbooks, the State Senate passed a bill today requiring inclusion of the contributions of gays to be included in the curriculum.

The bill would require California’s social science textbooks to include the contributions of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people to the state and nation’s history. (source: MSNBC)

The bill still needs to pass assembly, where some predict it will be easily struck down.

I’m a strong supporter of gay marriage, but this bill sounds absolutely ridiculous. Why is a sexual preference relevent to learning about history? Teaching tolerance is one thing, but pointing out which way historical figures swung is another.

Then again, maybe I’m missing something here… were there signifigant contributions made by homosexuals that have gone untold, or have been attributed to others, because they were gay?

5 Replies to “LAUSD schoolbooks coming out of the closet?”

  1. That last question you pose is actually an apt one. Look at it this way: civil rights for women, blacks, latinos, etc, are about inclusion. You show a picture of MLK in a history book and kids can see a black man in a position of prominence. Same with a woman or any ethnic minority, because they wear their oppression on their sleeves, so to speak. But you show a picture of Tennessee Williams in a text book and it is easy to overlook the very important part of his life- his sexuality.
    It’s not about listing the lovers a prominent historical figure had, but simply acknowledging a fact of their lives.
    The idea behind oppression is that if you make someone silent, they disappear. If kids grow up thinking that no LGBT person has ever made a significant contribution to society, then LGBT people can easily cease to exist.

  2. I disagree a bit. LGBT people aren’t going to “cease to exist” if their sexuality isn’t mentioned. Is there a historical example of this?
    With some blacks and minorities, their contributions have indeed been overlooked because of their race. But the only thing, I think, that has been hidden about LGBT contributions has been their sexual affiliation.

    I just don’t see how someone’s sexuality has any merit in a history book, unless their sexuality had a direct influence on a historical event.

    Certainly, if the individual was ostracized because of their sexuality, in some cases this might be appropriate, but to “highlight” gay achievments in school history classes, as part of general curriculum, is inappropriate. Stonewall as an event might be relevent, but not pointing out which historical figures were and weren’t gay.

    That said, I think in civics classes, the issue should be discussed alongside racial issues.

  3. “If a schoolkid that can’t read picks up a book in a forest that includes contributions of every possible group of Americans , does he/she learn anything”?

    On a more serious note. Since I’m of German heritage I’d like to propose that we start including the internment of American Citizens of German descent during WW2 in our textbooks.

    Checks in the mail?

  4. Um, though I think this topic deserves post time as the basis for interesting and needed debate – the school books we should be worried about are the ones that fail to let the public know how bills become law in this state.

    This isn’t a slam against you David – but perhaps the article where you got the story got it wrong or just late.

    The legislative session ended nearly two weeks ago, so the only action that remains on the bill will come from the governor. I believe you’re speaking of Senator Kuehls’ SB 1437, which passed both houses and awaits either signature or veto by Schwarzenegger.

    See leginfo.com to learn more about the bill.

  5. And exactly how much will this bullshit cost the already bankrupt school sysem (read: ME)???

    This is a load of crap. Teach the damned kids to READ AND WRITE and DO MATH, then let their parents take care of socialization. Teach HISTORY and POLITICAL SCIENCE so kids will know What Happened before Paris Hilton showed up.

    I’m sick to death of school books being about feeling great and embracing our selfhood instead of facts.

    Who suffers most? Not me – I’ve already completed school. It’s the poor kids who come out of school too stupid/ignorant to do anything more than work at McDonald’s.

    Have we all called Arnold to tell him to veto this stinking turd?

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