Scotland has just announced that teaching LGBTQ+ history will become compulsory in the country’s curriculum for schools. The move makes Scotland the first country in the world to do so.
According to The Scotsman, the decision was made to help young LGBTQ people, who experience high rates of bullying and neglect, which can have long-term impacts on their lives. Upon hearing the news, Jordan Daly, the co-founder of Time for Inclusive Education, stated, “this work will empower young people and provide them with an opportunity I didn’t have at school: to feel valued, confident, and proud of who they are.”
The nation is making sure to give teachers all the tools they need to teach the new curriculum. The Gay Times reports that school instructors will be provided with a toolkit filled with resources such as lesson plans and worksheets, and all teachers will participate in an e-training course to help familiarize themselves with LGBTQ history and the new expectations of the courses.
The new measure comes at a critical time for the LGBTQ community in the UK. Since 2015, LGBTQ-based hate crimes have been slowly rising throughout England, Scotland, and Wales, and the attack rates exploded during the COVID pandemic. Activists say that the highly-charged hate speech coming out of the mouths of politicians in the recent era has fueled a new level of hatred against LGBTQ people.
During the summer of 2021 alone, the UK experienced a wave of violent hate crimes that even led activists to stage a protest. Hopefully, the move by Scotland can help reduce the fear and hatred of LGBTQ people that’s sparked attacks across the UK.