The state Senate has approved legislation that would require Californias public schools to include gay history in social studies lessons. Supporters say the move is needed to counter anti-gay stereotypes and beliefs that make gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender children vulnerable to bullying and suicide. It leaves it up to local school districts to decide what to include in the lessons and at what grade students would receive them.
Californias current law already mandates that schools teach about Mexican Americans, African Americans, entrepreneurs, Asian Americans, American Indians, labor, and women. Also, the schools have specific lessons pertaining to the history of the Irish potato famine, as well as the Holocaust and a number of other topics.
The bill now adds gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, as well as those with disabilities, to a list of groups that schools must include in the lessons. It prohibits the inclusion of any material that may negatively reflect on homosexuality. If signed by Governor Brown, the law would take effect for the 2013-2014 school year, allowing schools more time to implement the requirement and acquire the proper teaching materials that cover the new curriculum.
Among those who will be addressed in the new curriculum is Friedrich von Steuben, one of George Washingtons military advisers who had fled from Prussia after alleged homosexual relationships with young men there. The curriculum will quite properly recognize him as one of the fathers of the continental army who taught crucial military drills, an admirable accomplishment that is irrelevant to his supposed proclivities, which are impossible either to prove or disprove more than two centuries after the fact.
Likewise, the curriculum will teach students about homosexual Alan Turing, a mathematician who helped to deduce Nazi Germanys secret codes by creating the Turing Bombe, an early version of the modern computer.
According to Democratic Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, the bill is critical because of the bullying of gay students. Republicans countered this argument by calling the bill well-intentioned but ill-conceived and asserting that it virtually indoctrinates children to accept homosexuality.
Republican Assemblyman Tim Donnelly contends that he is offended by the bill as a Christian and says that it is intended to push a homosexual agenda in public schools:
I think its one thing to say that we should be tolerant. It is something else altogether to say that my children are going to be taught that this lifestyle is good.
Our founding fathers are turning over in their graves.
Assembly Speaker John Perez, the first openly homosexual Speaker of the California Assembly, praised the bill, saying,
[It] will require California schools to present a more accurate and nuanced view of American history in our social science curriculum by recognizing the accomplishments of groups that are not often recognized.
A similar bill was vetoed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, but whether Governor Brown will sign the new measure remains to be seen. Some are concerned about the financial impact the legislation may have on the school system.
Bloomberg News explains:
His [Governor Brown's] decision will affect not only the states 6.2 million students in public school. California is the largest textbook buyer in the U.S., representing almost 13 percent of the $3.4 billion market in 2009, according to the Association of American Publishers. School publishers typically try to sell California-approved texts to other states.
State Senator Mark Leno, the bill's author, dismissed any contentions that the legislation pushed a sexual agenda and removed censorship from textbooks. Bottom line, its only beneficial to share with students the broad diversity of the human experience and that our democracy [sic] protects everyone, he commented.
Still, many analysts believe the bills passage may force parents to pull students from the public school system.
Randy Thomasson, president of SaveCalifornia.com warns, This sexual brainwashing would mandate that children as young as 6 years old be told falsehoods that homosexuality is biological, when it isnt, or healthy, when its not.