Maryland public school history teachers will add LGBTQ content to high school curricula in coming years, a lawmaker said.
The Maryland State Department of Education agreed to add “expectations” and implement new standards for high school U.S. history curricula that includes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and “queer” individuals, WUSA9 reported. The changes are expected to be made in 2021 or 2022.
“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,” state Del. Eric Luedtke, D-Montgomery County, told WUSA9.
He 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.
Montgomery County is an affluent suburb just outside Washington, D.C.
Luedtke did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Daily Caller News Foundation.
The move comes after state lawmakers sent a July 29 letter to state Superintendent of 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,” the lawmakers wrote, according to the New York Daily News.
Luedtke organized the letter and 34 other Maryland 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.
A Montgomery County Public Schools communications official, Gboyinde Onijala, said the school district plans to do more than simply implement changes in U.S. history curricula.
Montgomery’s public school system “intends to not only implement curricular changes” in U.S. history coming from the Maryland Department of Education “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 told WUSA9.
Montgomery’s school system “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 said.
The county, state, and federal education departments did not respond to requests for comment from The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Maryland is not the first state to discuss such measures.
The 2016 California Healthy Youth Act, also known as AB-329, mandates that 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 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 all have begun processes to implement LGBTQ content into school curricula, according to Maryland Matters.
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