New Jersey has become the second state in the U.S. to require their schools to teach learning material on LGBT and the disabled community!
The new measure was signed by Gov. Phil Murphy last Thursday and models a similar law that was passed in California back in 2011. Now the New Jersey boards of education must include lessons that accurately portray
“the political, economic, and social contributions of persons with disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, where appropriate,” according to the text of the law.
Murphy added how “honored” he was to sign a bill that will make teaching “about the rich contributions and accomplishments of our LGBTQ community and those with disabilities” mandatory.
“The Governor believes that ensuring students learn about diverse histories will help build more tolerant communities and strengthen educational outcomes,” Murphy’s office said in a statement.
The material is set to be placed in the social studies curricula for middle and high schools beginning in the 2020-’21 academic year, Fox News reports. Each board of education can institute their own procedures for the selection of material and how the lesson changes will be put into effect. The law does not, however, apply to private schools.
“It’s not an overhaul of buying new textbooks. I think it’s fairly accessible to get information online and distribute to the classroom,” Assemblywoman Valerie Huttle told CNN on Friday while adding her goals of having textbooks updated by 2020 or sooner.
“Young people are learning about LGBT people already in schools but their identities are hidden,” said Christian Fuscarino, executive director of Garden State Equality, which advocated for the bill over several assembly sessions. “Figures like Bayard Rustin, who was the right-hand man to Martin Luther King, Jr. for civil rights, was a gay man.”
Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora, an original sponsor of the bill, was one of two openly gay members of the legislature at the time.
“We often see in classrooms across the country the bullying of LGBT students, and this is a way they can incorporate into the curriculum that there are gay Americans that have made vast contributions to this nation,” Gusciora told CNN. “This is a way of encouraging students who feel that they’re outcasts that they too can make a contribution to American society.”
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