New Jersey Mandates LGBT History to be Taught in Schools
Oh history....I always say that history is written by the wealthy and the winning, but maybe that can change. New Jersey has just passed a law that requires all school districts of middle school and high school students to teach about LGBT individuals and their influence economically, socially and politically. It also requires that the curriculum included age-appropriate books and tools that "accurately portray diversity and the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people", according to northjersey.com. These teachings are up to the school districts themselves, which makes for very diverse teaching styles, and are still made to comply to the state's teaching standards. Private schools are exempt from this law.
According to NorthJersey.com this law is actually based from California's own LGBT school history bill called F.A.I.R (Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful Education Act) that requires the law to speak on LGBT and disabled individuals. Though this law seems like a great step in the right direction. The school system has a hard time keeping track of every class room and what they have been teaching, and New Jersey "does not specify how the state will monitor compliance by school districts."
It is only natural that the bill has been met with both supporters and resistors. Len Deo is the president of the New Jersey Family Policy Council. His opinion rests on the more conservative side and feels as if the parent's rights are being ignored.
" We believe it further erodes the right of parents to discuss this sensitive issue with their children, if in fact schools are going to be promoting and making the claim that this particular person was an LGBTQ member," said Deo. On the other side of the fence, people like Becca Mui, education manager for Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), focuses on what impact it would have on education, " We know it's beneficial to all students. It exposes them to a more inclusive and accurate account of history, helps them have a better understanding of LGBT people and their historic contributions, and can help promote acceptance and diversity.”
The law will be seen in the 2020-21 school year. There may be some resistance, but the truth of the matter is that the law has passed. Now children of New Jersey will be learning about individuals who have shaped their own little worlds to show that inclusion and diversity are an essential part of society.