News: Illinois Mandates Schools to Teach LGBTQ History Lessons

(Photo Credits: Jasmin Sessler from Pixabay)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker of Illinois signed House Bill 246 last Friday, mandating public schools to teach LGBTQ history starting next school year, July 1, 2020. 

With the Inclusive Curriculum Law, students will be taught about the “roles and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of this country and this State.” Also included in their history curriculum are lessons about the contributions and experiences of other marginalized communities such as people with disabilities, people of color, women, and immigrants.

The good news was welcomed by Victor Salvo—Executive Director of a nonprofit organization called Legacy Project—by saying, “Illinois is on the right side of history with this important, life-saving law.” He added, “To deny a child information that could give them hope, that could help them feel less alone, that could help them feel like they mattered–while at the same time condemning them to hearing bigoted slurs in the hallways of their schools–is a cruelty that every feeling adult has a responsibility to stop.” 

According to Equality Illinois, GLSEN’S 2017 School Climate Survey showed that only “24 percent of LGBTQ students in Illinois were taught anything positive about LGBTQ people in classrooms” while a whopping 88% of them have “heard the word ‘gay’ as a slur.” 

llinois became the fifth state in the United States to mandate public schools to teach LGBTQ history after California, New Jersey, Colorado, and Vermont.

There are 7 comments

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  1. marc

    An inclusive curriculum is a great thing. It helps lower the chances of catching the deadliest disease that living beings face, ignorance. The more educated we are about people who are different than us, the more we start to find common ground to exist upon. I know that people are not born racist, that is taught. If we learn about how every group has contributed to moving humanity forward maybe others will not be so quick to judge people who are different than themselves. However, there are a whole bunch of bigoted dinosaurs that probably will never change. Lets just hope they go extinct soon to allow more enlighten people room to live happily.

    • bjjj

      I think it’s great that LGBTQ is being taught and should be taught in schools, etc. However there will be a lot of opposition to it from parents, school administrators, and the public in general. Everybody is different and unique and I say “so what”. Just accept each other for whom they are, be they gay, lesbian, white, black, or what ever nationality or language they speak. We teach Spanish, French, and other languages at schools, why not teach about the gay lifestyle as well. Very true, people are not born racist or bigoted. But families, society, and parents seem to instill that into their children as they grow up. As the older generations pass away, hopefully the people growing up in todays culture will be more accepting of different lifestyles and people.

  2. Jerrod

    Mandating this type of stuff only causes animosity, and a backlash. Bad move. Why do we need to segment ourselves from society? Counterproductive.

    • Ranttrap

      BS! This is not to segment, it is meant to reach out to the lonely child who believes they are a freak of nature, unnatural, or unGodly. You’d be surprised how horrible parents can be when they fear difference! How many students will be saved from suicide and self-loathing. I was fortified by every positive representation I discovered of our community!

  3. Jeffrey

    This could be a way for young men not to feel ashamed of who they are. That sexuality has nothing to do with what they can accomplish.
    However it should be focused on what was accomplished not the fact that they were gay. It should only be mentioned. More than that makes it all about sex.

  4. Lamar

    It depends on what your teaching, in regards to the origins (the why & how that firstly takes place in the womb), not just the history of our struggle for freedom to be what nature has intended.

    As to how this is nature’s choice, you’re choice; is how you are going to live your orientation. It’s a lot like being born black or white or what ever your ethnic back-ground maybe, “how are ‘you’ going to represent it?” Are we teaching inclusion, certainly not, for the most part….

    You could continue as you have, to feed our kids the negative psychological societal narratives, but why?

    Give our children the truth of origins, period, to make better decisions as to who they are and how they’re going create-build better societies of healthy-minded adults, together in-spite of their differences. This, is a case nature, so the question is- what you’re going to nurture, hate or inclusion?

  5. Jon

    The purpose of teaching history is not to reach out to lonely kids or help them improve their self-esteem. There are better and more personalized ways to address those issues, and most of it should be the parent’s responsibility. While I empathize with young people who are discovering their identity and sexuality, the purpose of teaching American history is something completely separate. Must everything gay be politicized? Kindness and acceptance come from the heart, not from some agenda-driven textbook.

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