Governor Jerry Brown today signed a landmark bill amending the state's education code to require inclusion of historical contributions of gays and lesbians in textbooks and curricula. The bill was sponsored by local State Senator Mark Leno.
Read the full text of the bill here.
Brown issued this statement:
"History should be honest. This bill revises existing laws that prohibit discrimination in education and ensures that the important contributions of Americans from all backgrounds and walks of life are included in our history books. It represents an important step forward for our state, and I thank Senator Leno for his hard work on this historic legislation."
And this excerpt from Leno's statement:
“Today we are making history in California by ensuring that our textbooks and instructional materials no longer exclude the contributions of LGBT Americans,” said Senator Leno (D-San Francisco). “Denying LGBT people their rightful place in history gives our young people an inaccurate and incomplete view of the world around them. I am pleased Governor Brown signed the FAIR Education Act and I thank him for recognizing that the LGBT community, its accomplishments and its ongoing efforts for first-class citizenship are important components of California’s history.”
Research indicates that students who learn about LGBT people find their school environments more accepting of LGBT youth. Students are also more likely to report that their LGBT peers are treated fairly at school – and that other types of peer-to-peer disrespect also declines – when LGBT people and issues are included in instructional materials.
Last week, I interviewed KQED's education reporter, Ana Tintocalis, about what's in the bill and what its significance is. Here's part of that interview, from July 8, again: