Illinois passes bill requiring all public schools to teach LGBTQ history
Legislators in llinois have just passed a law that will require public schools to now include LGBTQ history in their curriculum.
According to WGN-TV, Friday, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the Inclusive Curriculum Law. The new bill will require schools to include the contributions of LGBTQ people in school lesson plans.
“In public schools only, the teaching of history shall include a study of the roles and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of this country and this State,” the bill reads.
Under this new mandate school textbooks will also be inclusive of “all people protected under the Illinois Human Rights Act and must be non-discriminatory as to any of the characteristics under the Act.”
While some may see this move as radical, Illinois schools have already made inclusivity a priority, and currently have lesson plans that highlight the stories of women, people of color, immigrants and the disabled. The Inclusive Curriculum Law says that moving forward students will be expected to learn about LGBTQ people by the time they reach the eighth grade.
“The new law’s goal is simple: to understand that people from different backgrounds deserve the same opportunity to learn and be recognized for their contributions in society as everyone else,” State Representative Anna Moeller said in a statement.
“One of the best ways to overcome intolerance is through education and exposure to different people and viewpoints,” State Senator Heather Steans. “An inclusive curriculum will not only teach an accurate version of history but also promote acceptance of the LGBTQ community.”
Moeller and Steans are the bill’s co-sponsors and hope the new law will encourage students to accept all people regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation.
The Inclusive Curriculum will go into effect in July 2020. CBS News reports that other states like New Jersey, California, Colorado, and Oregon already have similar laws in place.