According to CNN, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has passed a law that guarantees the history and contributions of LGBTQ people are taught in the state’s public schools. House Bill 246 was introduced by Rep. Anna Moeller to amend the school code to add a more inclusive history curriculum.
“In public schools only, the teaching of history shall include a study of the roles and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of this country and this State,” states the bill.
Topics that will be added to public school’s new curriculum include the nation’s first gay rights organization, the Society for Human Rights, being formed in 1924 in Chicago, and Sally Ride, the first US woman in space, who was a lesbian. “One of the best ways to overcome intolerance is through education and exposure to different people and viewpoints,” State Sen. Heather Steans, who also sponsored the bill, said in a statement. “An inclusive curriculum will not only teach an accurate version of history but also promote acceptance of the LGBTQ community.”
This is a big win for the LGBTQ community, which has been steadily fighting, and winning, against oppressive systems. “It is my hope that teaching students about the valuable contributions LGBTQ individuals have made throughout history will create a safer environment with fewer incidents of harassment,” Steans added. “LGBTQ children and teenagers will also be able to gain new role models who share life experiences with them.”