by Mary Margaret Olohan
Maryland public school history teachers will add LGBTQ content to high school curricula during the coming years, a lawmaker said.
The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) agreed to add “expectations” and implement new standards for high school U.S. history curricula, according to WUSA9. The changes are expected to be made in 2021 or 2022, the publication reported.
“When we’re teaching history, we want to make sure we teach all of history, and our history the way we teach it has traditionally left out a lot of Americans,” Montgomery County Democratic state Del. Eric Luedtke said, according to WUSA9. Luedtke said school districts will decide on specific lessons.
“I think these curriculum changes are part of building the more inclusive America that our kids deserve,” Luedtke added. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The move comes after lawmakers sent a July 29 letter to Superintendent of Maryland Schools Karen Salmon. “Half a century [after the Stonewall riots], we can find room in our social studies curriculum to ensure that we are teaching the complete story of America,” they wrote, according to the New York Daily News.
Luedtke organized the letter and 34 other delegates, as well as 13 state senators, signed it.
“These are important stories for our teachers to tell, not only for those students who are themselves LGBT or who have a disability, but so all of our students have a basic understanding of the challenges faced by significant segments of American society,” the letter said.
Proud to join 47 of my @mdhousedems & @MDSenate colleagues in calling on the State Dept of Education to ensure that our history curriculum tells the story of ALL Americans, including those who are members of the LGBT community and people with disabilities. pic.twitter.com/SdugLZ9NOI
— Delegate Eric Luedtke (@EricLuedtke) July 31, 2019
The Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) communication supervisor, Gboyinde Onijala, said MCPS plans to do more than simply implement changes in U.S. history curricula.
“MCPS intends to not only implement curricular changes in US History (coming from MSDE) and other social studies classes within units about expansion of civil rights and other historical movements, but also to broaden these efforts beyond history classes,” Onijala said, according to WUSA9. The school district did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
“MCPS is working to ensure that all students see themselves in the curriculum and texts, not only in US History but throughout the instructional program,” Onijala added.
Update: Very happy to share the news that MSDE is developing new history curriculum standards that will include the story of the LGBT and disability rights movements! Thanks to all my colleagues that added their names to our recent letter on the subject.https://t.co/Lmp1fz12RG
— Delegate Eric Luedtke (@EricLuedtke) August 13, 2019
The state and federal Departments of Education did not respond to the DCNF’s requests for comment.
Maryland is not the first state to discuss such measures.
The 2016 California Healthy Youth Act, otherwise known as AB-329, mandates teachers and curricula “affirmatively recognize different sexual orientations, be inclusive of same-sex relationships, and teach students about gender, gender identity and gender expression.”
The California Health Education Framework, introduced in May, also notes that as AB-329 orders, teachers must “affirmatively recognize different sexual orientations and be inclusive of same-sex relationships in discussions” and “teach about gender, gender expression, gender identity, and the harm of negative gender stereotypes.”
New Jersey, Colorado, Oregon and Illinois have all begun processes to implement LGBTQ content into school curricula, according to Maryland Matters.
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Mary Margaret Olohan is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “LGBTQ Curriculum” by GLSEN.