Washington State Mandates Curriculum On LGBTQ+ History In Public Schools

Washington State Mandates Curriculum On LGBTQ+ History In Public Schools

Washington state has mandated that public schools begin teaching LGBTQ+ history. Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington signed a new law last week that will ensure the state’s public schools introduce new curriculum detailing LGBTQ+ history by 2025 

In signing this bill into law, Washington joins six other progressive states which have already implemented similar mandates for public schools. These states include: California, Colorado, Oregon, Nevada, Illinois and New Jersey, according to LGBTQ+ think tank, Movement Advancement Project. 

The new law seeks to encourage feelings of safety and acceptance at school for students of all races, gender and sexual identities. 

NBC affiliate KGW of Portland, Oregon interviewed a Sammamish, Washington high school teacher who identifies as bisexual, Kristie Bennett. Bennett leads her school’s gender-sexuality alliance organization and said “I’ve seen firsthand how important an inclusive curriculum can be and how life-changing it can be to help a student see themselves in the curriculum instead of some old dead white guys from the 1700s.”

Left-leaning states introducing these laws stand in contrast to more conservative state laws which attempt to censor progressive ideologies with book bans, as well as blatant bans on the discussion of sexual and gender identity in classrooms, as seen with Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law.

Gabriele Magni, assistant professor of political science at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles told NBC that the urgency to introduce this curriculum in schools is a response to the passage of conservative laws in the opposite direction. Magni compares the issue to abortion access across the country, while some states clamp down hard on restrictions for reproductive care, others are expanding protections. 

The education of LGBTQ+ topics in schools is a win for a population that has seen a lot of concentrated hate and bigotry in recent years. It also helps to properly educate and inform youth on LGBTQ+ topics and identities.

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