“I think that the lesson plans are important—if we learn about the civil rights movement or women’s suffrage, then why are we not also formally learning about the LGBT rights movement? And if we learn about how communists were targeted in the Red Scare, why not also learn about the simultaneous Lavender Scare, where gays were targeted as threats to national security? And, while less essential, educational institutions could certainly use references to gay people where appropriate, in the same way that story-form scenarios and word problems should include references to blacks, Asians, or women where appropriate.
But I think the approach that Schools Out, Leno, and some bloggers are using is the wrong way to pitch this idea of teaching more about the LGBT rights movement. The role of textbooks and lesson plans is not to advocate for an end to bullying, and it’s not the responsibility of a math class to teach tolerance to a high schooler. That isn’t the argument that should accompany California’s bill or the U.K. initiative.
Instead we should be arguing that education should be an “objective” look at global history, and as most history classes stand now, they are curtailing crucial elements of history featuring LGBT people (or, in more cases, treating them as so inconsequential so as not to merit any academic lessons). Textbook writers shouldn’t be required to portray gay people in a positive way. But they should be required to disseminate truth and contain full, factual histories. That includes informing grade-school students about the gay rights movement. So why don’t LGBT supporters drop the argument that these plans would reduce bullying and just let the logic of raising well-informed children speak for itself?”
- Read the Full Post at The Good Men Project, linked to on Towleroad.com