Northern California School Board Adopts LGBT-Friendly Curriculum

Sheri Reed

school bus
Photo from HRC
Just read over on Lesbian Dad that just last week, the Berkeley Unified School District in Northern California adopted the Welcoming Schools Guide, an LGBT tolerance program, as official district curriculum.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation Family Project developed the Welcoming Schools Guide for school administrators, educators, parents, and guardians who want to "strengthen their schools' approach to family diversity, gender stereotyping, and bullying." The guide is designed for use in grades K-5 and is "inclusive of LGBT families and individuals in the broader context of diversity."

The Welcoming School Guide came about as a direct result of research that showed links between a child's academic achievement and mental well-being and being a part of an inclusive school climate.

Of course, there has been some backlash against the program. Naysayers accuse the program of pushing a gay "agenda" and its own brand of bullying. To me, this backlash simply looks like more homophobic fear mongering and a resistance to any teachings in which the LGBT community is portrayed as "normal."

This same type of fear mongering rose up during the Prop 8 debate. I swear that proposition, which reversed the legality of gay marriage in California, passed largely because the proponent's media campaign got Californians to believe that if gay marriage were made legal, the public schools would soon begin teaching kids "how to be gay" and about all kinds of "gay sexual acts." What is wrong with this world?

I am sorry that we live in a nation forced to adopt a curriculum of this nature because kids are bullied for being gay or for even thought to be gay, for having two moms or having two dads, for having a gay friend, and for simply having any sexual orientation outside the norm of heterosexuality. I am sorry anyone had to sit down and write a teaching program in order to help certain kids feel okay in their own skin, to feel safer to learn at their own school, and to build more welcoming schools for all children and their families.

But we do. And so I am glad that someone sat down and wrote it and that at least one school district so far has adopted it, yes, I am.

What do you think of schools adopting this LGBT-friendly or -tolerant curriculum?

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