Starting this 2021, Scotland will require state schools to teach not just LGBTQ+ history but also about the issues faced by the community like “same-sex marriage, same-sex parenting, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and the HIV and AIDS epidemic,” Gay Times UK reports. This will make Scotland the first country in the world to introduce LGBT+ history to their school curriculum.
John Swinney, Deputy First Minister and Education Secretary, welcomed the great news. He said in a statement:
Scotland is already considered one of the most progressive countries in Europe for LGBTI [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex] equality. I am delighted to announce we will be the first country in the world to have LGBTI inclusive education embedded within the curriculum.
He added, “Our education system must support everyone to reach their full potential. That is why it is vital the curriculum is as diverse as the young people who learn in our schools.”
But what do they think about including LGBTQ+ lessons at school?
Reportedly, a study conducted in 2019 by a charitable organization in the UK called Stonewall revealed that majority of British people or 60% “believe it’s right to teach kids about diverse families including those with same-sex parents.” This number is found to be even higher among young people aged 16-24 at 68%.
In contrast, 17% of the survey participants said they “disagreed or strongly disagreed with LGBTQ-inclusive teaching for primary school pupils.”
But why is an LGBTQ-inclusive teaching in Scotland essential?
According to a study for TIE, as reported by India Today, 9 in 10 LGBTQ Scots have experienced homophobia at school and 27% of them said they had attempted suicide after being exposed to bullying.
Further, a separate study conducted by Stonewall revealed that 40% of LGBT+ students in Scotland have not been taught about sexuality issues while only 22% know about safe sex in same-sex relationships.
That being said, Scotland is considered as a progressive country because they have progressive LGBTQ laws. For instance, it is illegal in Scotland to discriminate on the basis of gender and sexuality since 2010. Moreover, same-sex civil partnership has been legal in Scotland since 2005, same-sex marriage since 2014, and even way back in 2009 same-sex couples can already adopt and foster kids legally.
Meanwhile, in United States, Illinois’s public schools have started to teach LGBTQ history this July 1, 2020.
In Illinois, 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.” In addition, they will also be taught about the contributions and experiences of other marginalized communities such as people with disabilities, people of color, women, and immigrants.
Illinois is the fifth state to mandate public schools to teach LGBTQ history after California, New Jersey, Colorado, and Vermont.