(Photo Credits: Screengrab from KGW News’ Official YouTube Account)

Seattle — Washington’s public schools are set to introduce a new curriculum beginning in the 2025-2026 academic year.

Governor Jay Inslee recently signed Senate Bill 5462 into law, which will require students to study the historical contributions of marginalized communities, including the LGBTQ+ community.

SB 5462 was initially proposed in January. The bill underwent extensive deliberations, including multiple committee meetings, public hearings, and over a dozen revisions throughout the legislative session. Despite LGBTQ not being explicitly mentioned in the bill’s language, its ultimate goal was to ensure inclusivity and recognition of the contributions made by individuals from diverse backgrounds.

With the bill now enacted into law, the state is tasked with developing a curriculum that celebrates the significant contributions of people from various races, ethnicities, and sexual orientations.

The news earned various reactions.

Brian Noble, who is with the Family Policy Institute of Washington, said in an interview with KOMO News: “I don’t believe that’s the state’s responsibility. When you break down our main reason for being opposed to more or less the sexualization of children at that very young age.”

He reiterated that he has “no problem with us informing about cultures about different areas like that.” He added, “But when it comes to our sexual behavior, those histories and what we’re heightening as acceptable, and as normal, I do believe the conversation should happen between the child and their parent or parents.”

In conclusion, Noble said, “I think that we should pump the brakes. The fact is we just need to get back to reading, writing, and arithmetic.”

Meanwhile, a certain Gary Wilson said during a public hearing in Olympia: “This bill, forcing curriculum selection that would praise and highlight gay pride activists or gender-confused individuals, will only drive more parents away as our public education system seeks to promote agendas over public education.”

There are, of course, also others who are all for it. For one, Ken Shulman, the executive director of Lambert House in Seattle, a youth center supporting LGBTQ individuals and addressing their health disparities, emphasized the ongoing erasure of LGBTQ identities in schools and many other settings. Shulman noted the challenges faced by young people in accepting and understanding marginalized communities when their existence is overlooked in educational settings. He said, “LGBTQ identities were erased in schools and largely in most places they still are.” He added, “It’s considered too controversial to mention to kids that Thoreau was gay, or Walt Whitman was gay. Allen Turing who invented the first computer, helped serve the Enigma code and win World War 2 was gay.”

Further, Kristie Bennett, a high school educator in Sammamish, Washington, who oversees her school’s Gender-Sexuality Alliance, showcasing her commitment to fostering inclusion and understanding among students. As a bisexual individual herself, Bennett recognizes the significance of representation in the school environment for students grappling with their own identities. She said, “I’ve seen firsthand how important an inclusive curriculum can be and how life-changing it can be to help a student.”

By June 2025, state education officials will update a model policy, with the expectation that by October of the following year, all public schools in Washington will implement the revised curriculum. Read this story in full here and here.

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