More states require LGBT-inclusive history lessons

Maryland officials developing curriculum that includes the disabled community
By: | August 23, 2019
Illinois now requires schools to teach an LGBTQ-inclusive history curriculum by eighth grade. Education officials in Maryland are taking similar action. (Gettyimages.com: CHUYN)Illinois now requires schools to teach an LGBTQ-inclusive history curriculum by eighth grade. Education officials in Maryland are taking similar action. (Gettyimages.com: CHUYN)

Two more states have taken major steps toward teaching students an LGBT-inclusive curriculum thats covers the history and accomplishments of key figures.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill this month requiring schools to teach an LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum in history by eighth grade, starting in the 2020-2021 school year, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Illinois is the sixth state to pass such a law.

And the seventh state to require an LGBT-inclusive curriculum could be Maryland. Education officials there are writing standards covering the LGBT and disabled civil rights movements, The Washington Post reports.

Research shows achievement grows and bullying declines when schools teach an inclusive curriculum and establish an affirming culture, says Brandon Stratford, deputy director of education research at Child Trends, a nonpartisan and nonprofit research institution.


Read more: How to develop an LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum


Experts caution educators not to break these lessons out as separate subjects. History teachers should, for example, blend LGBTQ figures and milestones into the general flow of major world events, teaching consultant Rob Darrow told DA earlier this year.

In Connecticut, the state’s chapter of GLSEN, a student advocacy organization, launched the Rainbow Library Community Reads Project. The organization will provide LGBTQ+-themed books and other educational resources to school and community libraries across the state.