Fourth grade students will be introduced to “the emergence of the nation’s first gay rights organizations in the 1950s” as well as learning about Harvey Milk.
Fourth grade students will be introduced to “the emergence of the nation’s first gay rights organizations in the 1950s” as well as learning about Harvey Milk.

The curriculum will range from same-sex families to important historical figures.

California will be the first state in the US to incorporate LGBT history into school’s curriculum. The decision was made last week by the California State Board of Education.

The board voted to establish “a study of the role of contributions” made by LGBT Americans into history and social science classes. The proposal was unanimously approved and aligns with the 2012 Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act. This California law requires that there is better representation of the LGBT community and other minority groups.

The curriculum will be included in elementary, middle, and high schools around the state with initial lessons about families with same-sex parents beginning in second grade.

Fourth grade students will be introduced to “the emergence of the nation’s first gay rights organizations in the 1950s” as well as learning about Harvey Milk.

The legalisation of same-sex marriage in 2015 and the current fight for restroom equality will be taught to high school students.

While many conservative groups have argued that these lessons should be left to the parents, lawmakers rejected this reasoning. Schools will also be prohibited from teaching material that would be classified as discriminatory or would impact the LGBT community in a negative way.

In a statement from LGBT advocacy group Equality California, the group stated that the new guidelines highlight “essential moments in the struggle for equality, and the evolution of communities and identities.”

One high school student, Allyson Chiu noted that by adding LGBT history into the curriculum, the issues faced by the LGBT community would be better understood.

At the public hearing she said, “My classmates can solve quadratic equations or cite the elements on the periodic table. They can’t tell you who Harvey Milk was or the significance of the Stonewall Riots.”