Equity & Diversity

L.A. OKs Gay-Inclusive Curriculum to Combat Bullying

By Connie Llanos, Daily News, Los Angeles (MCT) — September 15, 2011 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Los Angeles Unified teachers will offer lessons that promote positive images of gay individuals and their contributions to the nation as part of an anti-bullying program approved Tuesday by the school board.

The resolution directs officials to develop a plan within 90 days to address how schools will achieve these goals.

The move comes on the heels of the Legislature approving a law that requires school districts to include the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans in their social studies curriculum.

Judy Chiasson, LAUSD’s human relations coordinator, said this could mean that middle school students studying history, for example, would learn about San Francisco gay rights leader Harvey Milk during a civil rights lesson or that elementary students with same-sex parents would be allowed to make two Mother’s or Father’s Day cards without questions or concerns being raised by teachers.

“Schools have always been leaders of social justice,” Chiasson said. “Every single civil rights issue of our time has been executed first in our schools.”

The plan also calls for training educators to be sensitive to the needs of gay students and parents.

School board member Steve Zimmer, who authored the resolution, said it is needed to help ensure that students feel safe and respected.

“Let the message be clear ... we love you, we respect you ... we honor you,” Zimmer said.

Local civil and gay rights advocates applauded the district for reiterating its commitment to the new law and its potential to help lessen the discrimination against LGBT children.

“As the second-largest school district in the nation, what LAUSD does sets the pace for the rest of the state and the country,” said James Gilliam, deputy executive director of the ACLU of Southern California.

Gilliam said the issue is especially pressing at a time when gay youth suicide and campus bullying are on the rise.

“I believe you can make a difference one person at a time ... especially through education.”

Related Tags:

Copyright (c) 2011, Daily News, Los Angeles. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Events

School & District Management K-12 Essentials Forum Get a Strong Start to the New School Year
Get insights and actions from Education Week journalists and expert guests on how to start the new school year on strong footing.
Reading & Literacy Webinar A Roadmap to Multisensory Early Literacy Instruction: Accelerate Growth for All Students 
How can you develop key literacy skills with a diverse range of learners? Explore best practices and tips to meet the needs of all students. 
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
College & Workforce Readiness Webinar
Supporting 21st Century Skills with a Whole-Child Focus
What skills do students need to succeed in the 21st century? Explore the latest strategies to best prepare students for college, career, and life.
Content provided by Panorama Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Equity & Diversity In Uvalde, Pain Where There Once Was Pride
Past and present residents of Uvalde, Texas, recount a deeper story of Robb Elementary—one that began years before the May 24 mass shooting.
12 min read
Palm trees are visible around the water tower in Uvalde, Texas, on July 20, 2022.
Palm trees surround the water tower in Uvalde, Texas. The town is the site of one of the worst school shootings in U.S. history.
Jordan Vonderhaar for Education Week
Equity & Diversity Uvalde Schools Aren't Defined by One Tragedy. Here Are Key Moments in Their History
The schools of Uvalde, Texas have a rich history that goes beyond the tragedy that occurred at Robb Elementary in May.
2 min read
Students walking in the streets of Uvalde, Texas participating in the 1970 Uvalde School Walkout. Pictured bottom right in numerical order are Mary Helen Canales, Lee Lugo, and Alfred Santos.
Students walk in the streets of Uvalde, Texas during the 1970 Uvalde School Walkout.
Courtesy of Voces Oral History Center at The University of Texas at Austin
Equity & Diversity Letter to the Editor An Educator Shares Lessons on Inclusivity From Preschoolers
Discussions involving equity, discrimination, and privilege resonate with preschoolers, writes an educator in this letter to the editor.
1 min read
Illustration of an open laptop receiving an email.
iStock/Getty
Equity & Diversity Anti-LBGTQ Hate Online Rose Sharply After Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' Law Passed
The rhetoric centered on false accusations about the "grooming" of young children, a study finds.
4 min read
Collage with an androgynous person covering their face and surrounded by screaming mouths.
iStock/Getty Images Plus