Thursday, August 11, 2022

Illinois Passes Law Requiring Public Schools to Teach LGBTQ History

Thousands Flock To Annual Pride March In New York City
Rainbow flags are waved at the annual Pride Parade on Sunday, June 29, 2019 in New York, NY. This years annual Pride Parade celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising and a half-century of LGBTQ+ liberation. (Photo by Erin Lefevre/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

*Illinois public schools will be required by law to educate students on LGBTQ history come July 20, 2020. That’s when a new law take effect thanks to Governor J.B. Pritzker, who reportedly signed House Bill 246 Friday, making the subject a teaching requirement in the state.

For public schools, the measure states “the teaching of history shall include a study of the roles and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of this country and this State.”

House Bill 246 was introduced by Rep. Anna Moeller to amend the school code to add a more inclusive history curriculum, per msn.com

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“In public schools only, the teaching of history shall include a study of the roles and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of this country and this State,” the bill states.

Equality Illinois, the state’s largest LGBTQ civil rights advocacy organization, said the curriculum could have a “positive effect on students’ self-image and make their peers more accepting.”

“One of the best ways to overcome intolerance is through education and exposure to different people and viewpoints,” State Sen. Heather Steans, who also sponsored the bill, said in a statement on her website earlier this year. “An inclusive curriculum will not only teach an accurate version of history but also promote acceptance of the LGBTQ community.”

The bill passed the Senate and House earlier this year and also states that all textbooks “authorized to be purchased must include the roles and contributions of all people protected under the Illinois Human Rights Act and must be non-discriminatory as to any of the characteristics under the Act.”

“It is my hope that teaching students about the valuable contributions LGBTQ individuals have made throughout history will create a safer environment with fewer incidents of harassment,” Steans said. “LGBTQ children and teenagers will also be able to gain new role models who share life experiences with them.”

 

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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