Gay CA

Lest anyone think I’m an unreconstructed liberal, we get things like this from California, where I get to be on the conservative side (hey, look, that makes me a sensible moderate now!).  Anyway:

In California public schools, students are required to learn about black history and women’s history. And if a bill approved by the State Senate this week becomes law, the state will become the first in the country to mandate that schools also teach gay history.

While the bill does not set specific requirements about what should be taught to students, it does say that contributions of gays and lesbians in the state and country must be included in social science instruction.

Really?!  Not to denigrate the accomplishments or struggles of gay Americans, but do we really need to mandate coverage in social science instruction?  Of course it’s hard to avoid, but I don’t like politics determining what the study of history should be.  When one looks at the history of race in this country or the women’s movement, these are major features of the very nature of our nation, regardless of whether there are particular mandated standards.  I just don’t think you can say the same about gay rights.  I’m especially bothered by the reasoning involved:

Advocates say that teaching about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in schools would prevent bullying and shatter stereotypes that some students may harbor. They point to several students who have committed suicide after being taunted by peers for being gay.

Let’s be clear, these are worthy goals, but I don’t think these goals should be accomplished by the History curriculum.  Then again, I’m not exactly on the same page as the opponents:

The increasing acceptance of gays and lesbians is precisely what bothers some of the opponents of the legislation.

Doesn’t bother me one bit.  I just don’t think that the core educational curriculum is the place where anyone should be pushing what is clearly a social, rather than educational, agenda.

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