LAUSD to include LGBT in their lesson plans

Sophomore+Hugo+Valencia%2C+president+of+CSUN%27s+Lesbian%2C+Gay%2C+Bisexual%2C+Transgender+Alliance%2C+standing+in+front+of+one+of+the+clubs+meetings+on+Sept.+19%2C+2011.++The+L.A.+Unified+School+District+have+voted+to+promote+a+positive+image+of+LGBT+individuals%2C+include+age-appropriate+curriculum%2C+staff+training%2C+demands+staff+to+intervene+with+anti-gay+bullying+and+more.+%22I+think+this+is+one+more+victory+for+the+queer+community+because+people+who+have+influenced+our+society+in+a+positive+way+can+now+be+recognized+despite+their+sexual+orientation%2C%22+said+Valencia.+Photo+Credit%3A+Andres+Aguila+%2F+Daily+Sundial+
Back to Article
Back to Article

LAUSD to include LGBT in their lesson plans

Sophomore Hugo Valencia, president of CSUN's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Alliance, standing in front of one of the clubs meetings on Sept. 19, 2011.  The L.A. Unified School District have voted to promote a positive image of LGBT individuals, include age-appropriate curriculum, staff training, demands staff to intervene with anti-gay bullying and more.

Sophomore Hugo Valencia, president of CSUN's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Alliance, standing in front of one of the clubs meetings on Sept. 19, 2011. The L.A. Unified School District have voted to promote a positive image of LGBT individuals, include age-appropriate curriculum, staff training, demands staff to intervene with anti-gay bullying and more. "I think this is one more victory for the queer community because people who have influenced our society in a positive way can now be recognized despite their sexual orientation," said Valencia. Photo Credit: Andres Aguila / Daily Sundial

Sophomore Hugo Valencia, president of CSUN's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Alliance, standing in front of one of the clubs meetings on Sept. 19, 2011. The L.A. Unified School District have voted to promote a positive image of LGBT individuals, include age-appropriate curriculum, staff training, demands staff to intervene with anti-gay bullying and more. "I think this is one more victory for the queer community because people who have influenced our society in a positive way can now be recognized despite their sexual orientation," said Valencia. Photo Credit: Andres Aguila / Daily Sundial

Sophomore Hugo Valencia, president of CSUN's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Alliance, standing in front of one of the clubs meetings on Sept. 19, 2011. The L.A. Unified School District have voted to promote a positive image of LGBT individuals, include age-appropriate curriculum, staff training, demands staff to intervene with anti-gay bullying and more. "I think this is one more victory for the queer community because people who have influenced our society in a positive way can now be recognized despite their sexual orientation," said Valencia. Photo Credit: Andres Aguila / Daily Sundial

Anthony Carpio

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Sophomore Hugo Valencia, president of CSUN's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Alliance, standing in front of one of the clubs meetings on Sept. 19, 2011. The L.A. Unified School District have voted to promote a positive image of LGBT individuals, include age-appropriate curriculum, staff training, demands staff to intervene with anti-gay bullying and more. "I think this is one more victory for the queer community because people who have influenced our society in a positive way can now be recognized despite their sexual orientation," said Valencia. Photo Credit: Andres Aguila / Daily Sundial

The history of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT), disabled and Asian/Pacific Islanders will be included in LAUSD curriculum after a Sept. 13 decision to teach students about the contributions of under-represented groups.

This decision comes after Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 48, or the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act, on July 14, 2011.

“There isn’t a lot of people out there that know much about the queer community,” said Hugo Valencia, CSUN’s LGBTA president. “Those people deserve to be recognized just like any other historical figure.”

The school system has 60 days to develop a plan to integrate the new lessons, and there are three ways the resolution could be implemented, said Judy Chiasson, program coordinator for LAUSD.

The first initiative will require teachers to intervene if they hear any anti-gay bullying in the classroom or on school grounds, Chiasson said.

Creating an inclusive curriculum is next, Chiasson said. This involves discussing how gays influenced prominent events, and the roles that important gay figures played in U.S. history.

For example, Alan Turing, a computer scientist who helped develop computer science, was prosecuted and committed suicide for being gay, Chiasson said.

“What would have his career been like if he had not been arrested or killed himself?” Chiasson said. These are the kinds of lessons that would be integrated into a teacher’s lesson plans, she added.

Stand-alone curriculum dedicated to LGBT culture and history is the third element for implementation, but will not be part of LAUSD’s plan, Chiasson said.

The goal behind the law and resolution is to educate students, faculty and parents about LGBT history and sensitivity, Chiasson said.

“This is not going to be a major overhaul to what we already do,” she said. “We’ve always supported students.”

Beginning in 1965, the California Department of Education started mandating inclusive curriculum, which, at the time, included history about blacks, Latinos and women’s rights, Chiasson said.

“Historically, there’s always been a certain group that’s been selected to be discriminated against, whether it’s been Mexican Americans, African Americans and Chinese immigrants,” said Jorge Moraga, senior history major. “With the 21st century, now it’s gay Americans and lesbian Americans.”

Having inclusive education about LGBT is great, Moraga said, but others think it could cause tension.

“I think they should be able to choose if they want to be educated about it or not,” said freshman Margarita Ruvalcaba.

Though Ruvalcaba thinks students and parents should have a choice about being educated on the subject, she supports LAUSD’s effort.

“It’s good that they’re being educated about not bullying them,” she said.

Ruvalcaba, who is lesbian, has not been criticized by her peers, but more from her family members.

“They think that every time they see a lesbian, they’re going to hit on every single girl,” she said.

This is one of the stereotypes the resolution aims to address and inform, Chiasson said.

Proponents of the additional curriculum said it is never too early to teach children the diversity of American history.

“Kids are our future, and if we want inclusivity in our society, then we need to educate kids,” Valencia said. “I don’t see why it wouldn’t be appropriate. They’re not being taught about sex. There’s a difference between gay history and sex.”

But for some people, it could be difficult to separate history from intimate details.

“There is a lot of misinformation out there,” Chiasson said. “I think with the lack of information, people fill (their misconceptions) with their fears.”

As technology and information becomes more accessible to young students, CSUN student Moraga has no problems with children learning LGBT history.

 

“They are bombarded with stuff that I didn’t realize was occurring around me when I was their age,” he said. “Kids are growing up a lot faster these days. The more conscious and informed they are at a younger age about their fellow human being, I think that’s a good thing.”