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California governor signs bill requiring schools to teach gay history

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Here is a link to the article.  Below are the highlights from the article, as taken from CNN.com. 

 

  • The bill is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation
  • It will also require teachers to instruct on the role of people with disabilities
  • "History should be honest," Gov. Brown said in a statement

 

 

It doesn't seem like this board is that active, but if anyone is interested in sharing, I would love to hear opinions on this.  Even those living outside of California, do you want your children taught gay history in schools?  Why or why not?

post #2 of 14

I'm conflicted about it, personally.  I think it can have a positive effect, but at the same time, I've always considered it rude to talk about others' sexuality.  I watched a film about Jane  Adams and the Hull House movement the other day and it was pretty obvious that the house was run by Lesbians.  There were so many hints it wasn't even funny, but the narrator never said it.  They mentioned several times that the women in the house were single, education women who did not want to get married.  Mentioned which women partnered off with other women and "were close friends for the rest of their lives." 

 

It was interesting to see how much of a contribution to society these women made.  They pretty much shaped the social service and social welfare, sanitation, employee rights, child labor laws, women's rights, free-health clinics etc...just so many contributions.  I think it could be a positive thing for young GLBT to hear. It would be nice for them to get to claim the people who made the such great strides in social justice.  At the same time, who knows for sure if they were lesbian women since it was something nobody talked about back then. 

 

Considering the high suicide rate of GLBT youth and the current fight for equality, I'm leaning towards supporting the law.  I'm not sure where we would draw the line though. Which non-obvious things do we need to know about historical figures? 

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chaoticzenmom View Post

I'm conflicted about it, personally.  I think it can have a positive effect, but at the same time, I've always considered it rude to talk about others' sexuality.  I watched a film about Jane  Adams and the Hull House movement the other day and it was pretty obvious that the house was run by Lesbians.  There were so many hints it wasn't even funny, but the narrator never said it.  They mentioned several times that the women in the house were single, education women who did not want to get married.  Mentioned which women partnered off with other women and "were close friends for the rest of their lives."

 

It was interesting to see how much of a contribution to society these women made.  They pretty much shaped the social service and social welfare, sanitation, employee rights, child labor laws, women's rights, free-health clinics etc...just so many contributions.  I think it could be a positive thing for young GLBT to hear. It would be nice for them to get to claim the people who made the such great strides in social justice.  At the same time, who knows for sure if they were lesbian women since it was something nobody talked about back then. 

 

Considering the high suicide rate of GLBT youth and the current fight for equality, I'm leaning towards supporting the law.  I'm not sure where we would draw the line though. Which non-obvious things do we need to know about historical figures? 

 

My initial thought was what does their sexuality matter in the context of history, itself, specifically if it is unrelated to the historical event?  And, how is a historical figures' sexuality always a verifiable fact?  However, I then read an additional article and I believe they are looking to teach gay history, specifically, and movements within the GLBT community.  Further reading makes it seem like it is somewhat open to what will be included and how much information will be included. 

 

I can only hope it is a step in the right direction within the GLBT community.  I do wonder what impact, if any, this will have on GLBT bullying in schools.

 

I have to laugh about your comments on the picture you watched.  I used to obsess about such things when I was struggling with my own sexuality. 

post #4 of 14

I think its great, and I certainly hope that my son is taught ALL history regarding civil rights issues - if he's not at school, I will teach it to him at home.

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

smile.gif


Edited by Mulvah - 7/27/11 at 6:40am
post #6 of 14

How exactly is this being taught?  In human sexuality?  I think I am a little confused when I read about this.

post #7 of 14

My guess is it will focus mostly on the gay rights movement throughout US history and how it has affected other aspects of US culture. So it's not really going to be "Oscar Wilde was gay, DaVinci was probably gay, George Washington Carver was probably gay (or at least he liked giving massages to attractive young men)" but more of a "Two-sprited people were a known minority among Native Americans, being gay was once punishable by death in the US, the first public homosexual organization and first gay publications were started by an US Army WWI vet in Chicago in 1924".

 

Personally I think it's a great idea.

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post

My guess is it will focus mostly on the gay rights movement throughout US history and how it has affected other aspects of US culture. So it's not really going to be "Oscar Wilde was gay, DaVinci was probably gay, George Washington Carver was probably gay (or at least he liked giving massages to attractive young men)" but more of a "Two-sprited people were a known minority among Native Americans, being gay was once punishable by death in the US, the first public homosexual organization and first gay publications were started by an US Army WWI vet in Chicago in 1924".

 

Personally I think it's a great idea.

 

The CNN article is pretty crappy.  After reading another article or two, it was stated in a way to suggest gay history would be taught in the same way women's history is taught.
 

 

post #9 of 14

I totally support this bill!!!  Good job California!

post #10 of 14

Personally, I'm not a fan of legislating educational content in any form. I believe that much of what children are taught about U.S history is so slanted and misguided that it would take a miracle to change it all. I am more of a fan of educators writing textbooks, teachers given the freedom to create a classroom environment where all points of views would be taught, and where they can create curriculum to show the contributions of all people throughout history. In other words, let educators be educators and leave the politicians out of it.

post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonshoes View Post

Personally, I'm not a fan of legislating educational content in any form. I believe that much of what children are taught about U.S history is so slanted and misguided that it would take a miracle to change it all. I am more of a fan of educators writing textbooks, teachers given the freedom to create a classroom environment where all points of views would be taught, and where they can create curriculum to show the contributions of all people throughout history. In other words, let educators be educators and leave the politicians out of it.


I have to disagree with you there.  On the surface it sounds good, but thinking about it, I do support legislation about what it taught in school.   There are several points of view that many teachers have that I would not want taught to my kids.  I want to know that there are set rules about what they can teach.   U.S. history is very slanted and misguided though, so true.  I don't send my kids to school, so I don't have too much to worry about there.   I love to read books about what your history textbooks don't teach.  We sometimes listen books on cd and I loved listening to "Everything my history teacher told me is a lie."  It was very interesting.   I find that different people have different views about the truth. 

 

Reading more about how gay history is going to be taught..I'm very supportive of that.  Since I homeschool, I'll have to actively seek out that information for my kids. 


 

 

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post

My guess is it will focus mostly on the gay rights movement throughout US history and how it has affected other aspects of US culture. So it's not really going to be "Oscar Wilde was gay, DaVinci was probably gay, George Washington Carver was probably gay (or at least he liked giving massages to attractive young men)" but more of a "Two-sprited people were a known minority among Native Americans, being gay was once punishable by death in the US, the first public homosexual organization and first gay publications were started by an US Army WWI vet in Chicago in 1924".

 

Personally I think it's a great idea.


I agree with you. There's too much that has happened because minorities ( in this case homosexual is the minority) have been treated badly in the past.
post #13 of 14

Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post

I think its great, and I certainly hope that my son is taught ALL history regarding civil rights issues - if he's not at school, I will teach it to him at home.


Agreed - and I think that's exactly the right language to use to describe it.  It's the history of the civil rights movement.

 

post #14 of 14


Edited by member234098 - 5/31/12 at 5:52pm
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