GSA Network will help you fight for LGBTQ issues and LGBTQ people to be included in the lessons you learn at school.
Are you in California? Learn about the laws that are on your side and how you can take action in your school. Check out our FAIR Education Act section!
Find out about the FAIR Education Act in California, and how to personally contribute in your classes through your class assignments and presentations. Get ready to educate your teachers and provide them with lesson plans and assignments that meet the updated CA state education guidelines. Prepare to convince teachers and administrators to incorporate LGBTQ topics into the curriculum and implement district-wide changes to curriculum standards.
Why is LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum important & necessary?
LGBTQ people have made contributions to the history and culture of the United States and the world in many fields. Unfortunately, most textbooks and curriculum standards completely neglect this aspect of history!
In many schools, learning about LGBTQ issues – if it happens at all – takes the form of tolerance, diversity, or anti-bullying education, which teaches the importance of not discriminating against each other. Such programs are important first steps, but they are not enough. True acceptance means recognizing that different groups have all contributed in meaningful ways to society.
As the California Safe Schools Coalition and GSA Network report, Lessons That Matter: LGBTQ-Inclusivity and School Safety, shows, learning about LGBTQ issues at school contributes to a safer school climate for all students. Learn the facts.
Don't live in CA? Get your campaign started:
- Evaluate your education! Pay attention in your classes. Are your teachers teaching about the historical achievements of LGBTQ individuals, and are these issues included in your textbooks? Are things being left unspoken or made invisible? Ask questions and speak up if you think omissions are being made. Write a paper or design a project about LGBTQ history for an assignment or suggest topics for classroom discussions.
- Educate yourself! Sit down with your GSA members and start teaching yourselves about what LGBTQ historical figures have accomplished. There are several books and online resources that will provide you with plenty of information on how to begin. Contact GSA Network for useful resources, like our Queer People of Color History 101 workshop, which you can use for free.
- Take over class! Get your teacher’s permission to take over class and lead a discussion about LGBTQ history or present a lesson of your own.
- Celebrate LGBTQ history month! October is LGBTQ history month, and this is a great opportunity for your GSA to educate your entire school. Put up posters about key LGBTQ historical figures all around your school. Download info at http://glbthistorymonth.com. Collect short pieces about LGBTQ history and poems from queer poets like Audre Lorde, Adrienne Rich or Walt Whitman and read them over the intercom during homeroom and during lunch. Screen historical documentary films or plan a school-wide assembly with speakers talking about LGBTQ history.
- Support your teachers & administrators! Encourage and thank teachers who are already teaching the history you need to learn. Advocate for staff training on implementing age- and subject-specific LGBTQ-inclusive curricula. Arm yourself with information from the California Safe Schools Coalition about existing LGBTQ-inclusive curricula that already fits existing state curriculum standards and frameworks: http://www.casafeschools.org.
- Change the rules! Find out who makes decisions in your school district about curriculum. Advocate for the adoption of curricula that is inclusive of LGBTQ people.
- Improve textbooks! Find out who in your school district buys the textbooks you use. Work with that person to talk to textbook companies about the need for inclusive curriculum. Help them understand why they should start printing textbooks that include everyone’s history.