Now that Governor Brown has signed SB 48, which requires California social studies books to reflect the contributions and role of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans to society, teachers are asking: how?
It will be several years before state textbooks can be re-written, but teachers must begin incorporating material of their choosing into the lesson plan by January 1, 2012. Proponents of the bill, including some religious leaders and the California Teachers Association, argued it was long overdue; opponents, including some vocal parents and other religious leaders, claimed it was just legislating morality. Senator Mark Leno wrote the bill as an attempt to combat harassment of gays by their classmates.
Will LGBT lesson plans in classrooms prevent anti-gay bullying behavior? What should a teacher's role be in introducing homosexuality? What is the appropriate age to do so? Does shifting pedagogy shift students’ opinions? Should parents have the option to opt out?
Donald Wilson, principal of the Wonderland Avenue Elementary School (K-5) in Laurel Canyon
Craig DeLuz, vice president of the Board of Trustees for the Robla School District in Sacramento; parent of two high school students in the Sacramento district; former high school teacher.