ILLINOIS — Illinois lawmakers again want to require the state’s public schools to teach students about the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of the nation and the state of Illinois. The bill making its way through the Statehouse will teach students about famous people in history but will acknowledge their sexual orientation. This bill would require all public school students to take an LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum for students in Kindergarten through 12th grade.
The thinking is that kids already learn about the contributions of African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans so adding LGBT Americans to the list is no big deal. Or so says Democratic state Rep. Anna Moeller.
“Humans, especially young people, need to feel belonged and valued,” Moeller said. “By deliberately excluding or even inadvertently leaving out the history of LGBT contributions, our schools and our teachers send the message that LGBT students don’t belong and aren’t valued.”
She’s missing one point though. They didn’t teach the sexual orientation of African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans in school. And some local parents are not in favor of the bill moving forward.
“I don’t trust that the state, who’s pushing LGBTQ education on our children too soon. We, as parents, know our children intimately and we know what they are ready for,” Springfield resident Betty Parquette told Illinois News Network.
The bill’s author, Rep. Anna Moeller, said it’s an attempt to dispel negative stereotypes. She says this bill is important because it will bring school code up-to-date on the Illinois’ Human Rights Act, which protects against LGBTQ discrimination.
However, the bill’s biggest opposition, the Illinois Family Institute, believes otherwise.
Laurie Higgins is a cultural issues writer with Illinois Family Institute, and she said it’s not an appropriate time to introduce these topics to young kids.
“They don’t have the moral maturity to distinguish between achievement and a critical view of someone’s volitional sexual activities,” Higgins said.
This is the second time Moeller introduced this bill.
Last year it wasn’t voted on in time. If passed, Illinois will be the third state to add LGBTQ curriculum to its public schools. Right now, the bill is still in committee.
If approved, the measure will go to the House floor for a full vote.
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