High school students in Massachusetts will soon have access to LGBTQ-themed history, English and health this fall in an effort to help all students see themselves in the courses they study.
From The Boston Herald:
The curriculum, developed by a team of teachers with Massachusetts Safe Schools Program for LGBTQ Students and the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth, will be released this summer. It will feature lessons on the 1969 Stonewall Riots and writings by gay and lesbian authors such as Langston Hughes and Willa Cather. It will also feature lessons like how Nick Carraway’s love for Jay Gatsby may have influenced themes in “The Great Gatsby.”
“We talk about mirrors and windows,” said Jeff Perrotti, director of the Massachusetts Safe Schools Program for LGBTQ Students. “Students need to see themselves reflected and see others who are different from themselves. It is important that all students feel safe, valued and respected in school so they can be ready to learn.”
“If students don’t see themselves in the curriculum, they are not as likely to pay attention,” said commission director Corey Prachniak-Rincon. “It is a huge demand we hear from teachers. They recognize part of the reason why LGBTQ students feel excluded is they’re not reflected and that part of their identity is ignored.”
The Herald goes on to quote teachers who say students have come back after graduating to say how much it helped them to discuss literature and history that included facts such as poet Walt Whitman being gay.
I am, of course, waiting to hear from the haters who will label this “gay indoctrination.”
But the fact is the new gay-themed curriculum will not be required for all schools to teach. The choice to offer the courses will be left to local school districts.
According to a 2015 study, 11% of high school students in Massachusetts identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or questioning their sexual orientation. Almost 3% identify as transgender.