Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Video: New bill requires Social Studies lessons in gay history
Well, there's Black History month, Hispanic Heritage month. Some are wondering why not teach gay history to students. The state senate has approved a bill and it's awaiting action by the state assembly. It's sponsored by Mark Leno of
and he joins me now. Thank you so much for joining us. San Francisco
>> Thank you, Tamron.
>> Tell me how me how this came to you.
>> Well, we are currently censoring our history books when we exclude lgbt Americans from our lessons. Since the 1970s, our education code has required that the role and contributions of women, African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Asian-Americans, European-Americans be included in our history studies. We are failing our students, and I can document that by the tragic and ever growing epidemic of bullying on our school campuses and, in fact, the number of students who can no longer bear and endure the pain they have experienced at school are now killing themselves. We are now helping them by denying them the fact of a civil rights movement and that there is a history here, and there have been leaders not unlike Harvey Milk .
>> Some of those opponents out there say that the curriculum change adds nonessential material to the school day that is already short on time and in their belief it puts inappropriate emphasis on sexuality. What is your response to that concern?
>> So this is no more about sexuality than when students are taught that a man named Dr. Martin Luther King who fought for civil rights was African-American, that Caesar Chavez was Mexican-American. Harvey Milk happened to be a gay American who was fighting for civil rights and was killed in his city hall office because of who he was. This is not teaching sexuality. It's teaching history and what the fight for civil rights equality, fighting for the great promise of our constitution that all men and women are created equal and should be treated fairly and equally under the law.
>> And as I mentioned, you're awaiting action by the state. Do you believe this will become a reality?
>> We had success in the state senate. We'll begin the process in policy committee in the next few weeks. We hope to get it to the governor's desk by the end of the summer. I'm hopeful he will receive this with an open mind.
>> Senator Mark Leno of
. Thank you for your time. San Francisco
>> Thank you. JuRmhttp://keystothecloset.blogspot.com
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