Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-03-21
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Bill introduced for school curriculum including LGBTQ history
From a press release

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

SPRINGFIELD—Students in Illinois would learn about the significant historical events and contributions by LGBTQ people under the Inclusive Curriculum Bill introduced in the Illinois Senate, according to Equality Illinois and the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance.

The Inclusive Curriculum Bill, SB 3249, was introduced late Thursday and is sponsored by state Sen. Heather Steans of Chicago and state Rep. Anna Moeller of Elgin. The bill is an initiative of Equality Illinois, the state's civil rights organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Illinoisans, and the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, which promotes safety, support, and healthy development for LGBTQ students in Illinois schools.

"As a former first grade teacher, I know how an inclusive education system can create change within a community," said Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois. "By including information in public school curriculum about the contributions of LGBTQ people and the historical events they were involved in, we will get closer as a state to telling the whole story of our shared history."

"We work with students across Illinois, and we consistently hear from them that they don't see themselves or their identities in their classrooms," said Rodrigo Anzures-Oyorzabal, Policy and Advocacy Manager for the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance. "This bill will help LGBTQ students see their own history across fields and practices, creating better outcomes for them in school."

The Illinois School Code already ensures inclusion in history curriculum of the contributions and experiences of other historically marginalized communities, including of people of color, women, immigrant communities, and people with disabilities, so SB 3249 is consistent with current state law.

"An inclusive history will affirm for LGBTQ students that people just like them existed and made significant contributions to society," said Johnson. "This inclusive history will also benefit non-LGBTQ students, who would be taught the whole story about the achievements of LGBTQ people and the historical events that impacted all of us."

This curricular approach is consistent with our shared values of inclusion and respect that have made Illinois the civil rights leader in the Midwest. Equality Illinois and the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance thank Sen. Steans and Rep. Moeller for leading this effort to ensure that students in Illinois are taught the whole picture of history. The Inclusive Curriculum Bill will be a key lobbying component of LGBTQ Advocacy Day on April 11 in the Illinois Capitol.

Since there is no requirement to include the roles and contributions of LGBTQ people in the Illinois School Code, the historical representation of LGBTQ people, events, and contributions is not discussed in most classrooms across the state.

Some examples: The nation's first gay rights organization, the Society for Human Rights, was formed in 1924 in Chicago. Illinoisan Jane Addams, the mother of social work, founder of the Hull House, and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, was in a committed 40-year relationship with her partner, Mary Rozet Smith. The organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, was a gay man. And Sally Ride, the first U.S. woman in space, was a lesbian.

"We should be proud of this history. Instead, the teaching of history has been set a little too straight. Our identities have been erased by omission. Now, it is time for our public schools in Illinois to tell the whole story," Johnson said.

An inclusive curriculum can have positive, affirming benefits and help counteract some disturbing trends. Sadly, in schools across Illinois and the United States, LGBTQ students are told, through bullying, harassment, and exclusion, that they do not belong. These conditions have created a school environment where LGBTQ students are forced to hide their identity simply to protect themselves. According to the 2015 School Climate Survey by GLSEN, a national organization supporting LGBTQ youth in schools, 89 percent of LGBTQ students in Illinois have heard the word "gay" as a slur. And only 27 percent of LGBTQ students were taught anything positive about LGBTQ people in classrooms.

Inclusion of LGBTQ history in curriculum can have a positive effect on the educational outcomes and success of students. Nationally, more than 75 percent of LGBTQ students in schools with an inclusive curriculum said their peers were accepting of LGBTQ people, compared to just 39.6 percent of those in schools without an inclusive curriculum. LGBTQ students in schools with an inclusive curriculum also say they were less likely to say they might not graduate high school.

SB 3249 would include the contributions of LGBTQ people in the teaching of Illinois and American history, make awareness of LGBTQ contributions to society part of school curriculum in Illinois, and ensure that instructional materials are non-discriminatory and accurately reflect Illinois' diversity. SB 3249 is modeled after existing provisions in the Illinois School Code that ensure the inclusion of the contributions of historically marginalized communities as well as on a similar law passed and adopted in California in 2011. Illinois would be only the second state in the country to ensure inclusion on a statewide level of the contributions and roles of LGBTQ people in curriculum.

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

SAGE Condemns Erasure of Lesbian and Bi Women by HHS 2018-03-22 - [New York, NY] In what is becoming a trend, the Trump administration is once again trying to make LGBT people invisible. The administration ...

Gay News

Chicago March Among 800+ Globally Following the Douglas High School Shooting 2018-03-22 - CHICAGO—March 21, 2018— Students organizing the Chicago "March For Our Lies" event on March 24th today announced programming and media logistics information for ...

Gay News

Gun-control activists meet with Pfleger 2018-03-21 - A group of gun-control activists—including outspoken Parkland, Florida, survivor Emma Gonzalez, an out bisexual—met with Chicago's Father Michael Pfleger at Saint Sabina church, ...

Gay News

Nominations sought for 30 Under 30 Awards 2018-03-20 - Windy City Times is seeking to recognize 30 more outstanding LGBT individuals ( and allies ) for its annual 30 Under 30 Awards. ...

Gay News

Quigley Presses HUD Sec. Carson on LGBTQ Housing, Invites Him to Meet Chicago Advocates 2018-03-20 - WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Representatives Mike Quigley ( IL-05 ), who serves on the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development ( THUD ) Appropriations ...

Gay News

Cecile Richards, Tarana Burke, Dreamers to Receive Civil and Human Rights Community's Highest Honor 2018-03-20 - WASHINGTON — The past year has marked a pivotal point in America's civil rights history, with women's rights, racial justice, and immigration occupying ...

Gay News

Precious Minds project seeks to mentor youth 2018-03-14 - Precious Minds Mentoring Program is a program for young women, founded by a youth who has experienced her own struggles and who now ...

Gay News

Point Foundation hosts networking event at Salero 2018-03-12 - Approximately 80 people attended Point's 2018 Chicago Cornerstone Society Reception at Salero restaurant on March 8. Point board members Alexia Ward and ...

Gay News

9 to 12 Bowling hosts Youth Outlook 'fun-raiser' March 31 2018-03-08 - The 9 to 12 bowling league is hosting its 23rd annual fundraiser, "Bowl for Their Future," a fun-raiser for Youth Outlook Sat., March ...

Gay News

As students plan protests of Parkland shooting, UCLU urges civics lessons in education 2018-03-05 - Chicago — Noting the heightened interest of high school students across the nation and Illinois to participate in public policy discussions, the American ...


Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.