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Education

School textbooks teaching LGBT history fall short




File: Same-sex marriage supporters wave a rainbow flag in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on March 26, 2013 in Washington, D.C.
File: Same-sex marriage supporters wave a rainbow flag in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on March 26, 2013 in Washington, D.C.
Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

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California became the first state in 2011 to require that K-12 students learn about LGBT history, and now, six years later, the law is about to be implemented with new textbooks.

But some people say these teaching materials are nothing to be proud of. Rick Zbur, executive director of the LGBT rights group Equality California, is one of these voices. His organization reviewed the textbooks, and they weren't impressed with what they found. 

"Half of them were failing in significant ways in meeting the requirements of the Fair Education Act," Zbur said in an interview with Take Two host A Martinez. "Many of them didn't have any content related to significant LGBTQ historical figures as part of the history curriculum."

One textbook mentioned lesbian comedian Ellen DeGeneres as a noted historical figure, but it didn't provide much detail on why.

"It basically just said that Ellen DeGeneres was a comedian who makes people laugh," said Zbur. "And it didn't describe the significance of what she did: you know, coming out, and really educating the public about the fact that there are LGBTQ people... in significant public roles."

To hear the full interview and hear how inclusive textbooks can affect student life, use the blue media player above.