A new bill that would require public schools in California to include LGBT history in their social-studies curricula passed the State Senate yesterday in a 23-14 vote. (It also adds disabled people to the required list, which currently includes "women, African Americans, Mexican Americans, entrepreneurs, Asian Americans, European Americans, American Indians and labor.") If the bill passes the Assembly and gets signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, California would be the first state to have such a requirement.
This might come as a shock to you, readers, but there are some people who are not happy about this development. Some say this puts undue pressure on an already overstuffed syllabus. And then there are those like State Senator Doug La Malfa, who had this to say:
I'm deeply troubled kids would have to contemplate at a very, very early age, when many of us are teaching abstinence … what is sexuality.
Ha. Haaaaaaaaaaa. Let's get something straight here: I went to public school. I know what happens when there are state requirements and standardized tests looming and all the teacher wants is to sip quietly from a flask of gin in the break room because rat-faced Billy Palmer started a rumor that she has gonorrhea. Basically, a lot of this stuff gets the bare minimum lip service, because that's all there's time for. And you know what? Even that is better than nothing at all. But don't worry, homophobes: the gays won't be stealing that much time from your precious lessons on the Defenestration of Prague. (Which is pretty interesting, though.)
As for the sexuality part? The bill leaves it up to the discretion of the school when to start these lessons, and as I recall we didn't really get into heavy social studies until sixth or seventh grade. So just be happy that the kids are in the room at all, and not giving out blowjobs behind the gymnasium for Silly Bandz.