California Is First State to Approve LGBT-Inclusive History Books for K-8 Schools

Harvey Milk
Harvey Milk

California has made a move for the LGBT history books.

On Thursday, the California state board of education approved 10 LGBT-inclusive history textbooks for K-8 classrooms, becoming the first state in the U.S. to do so.

The state board of education also rejected two books that did not include LGBT history, as this exclusion violates California's 2011 Fair Education Act.

Written by Sen. Mark Leno — and long advocated for by LGBT organizations — this legislation requires history and social sciences curriculm to teach about the accomplishments of queer people and people with disabilities.

Rick Zbur, the executive director of Equality California, lauded the adoption of the books.

"This long fought victory is the next step for California students to learn about the contributions and history of LGBTQ people," said Zbur. "Approval of these textbooks means that California schools will now have access to approved materials that accurately represent LGBTQ people, and Equality California applauds the State Board of Education for this historic decision."

The approval was also praised by Renata Moreira, executive director of Our Family Coalition, which was among a coalition of organizations pushing for the teaching of LGBT history in California. Others included Equality California,  Committee on LGBT History, ACLU of California, GSA Network, Transgender Law Center, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and the Safe Schools Project of Santa Cruz County.

"The decision today means that LGBTQ students, and those with LGBTQ families, will finally be able to see themselves and our history accurately reflected in textbooks in California," said Moreira. "We celebrate SBE's final vote and are more than ready to continue working with partners and educators on the next chapter as we move to district adoption across the state."

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