‘A big no’: Internet divided as Washington schools mandated to teach LGBTQ history by 2025

‘A big no’: Internet divided as Washington schools mandated to teach LGBTQ history by 2025
Starting in 2025, Washington schools are required to include LGBTQ history in their curriculum (Getty Images)

OLYMPIA, WASHINGTON: Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill into law on Monday, March 18, mandating that Washington schools include LGBTQ history in their curriculum, as per KPTV.

Under a new law signed by Inslee, all public schools in Washington will be mandated to revise their curriculum to incorporate LGBTQ histories and perspectives.

What does the new law say? 

Senate Bill 5642 mandates that the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction integrate "the concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion" into newly developed or updated learning standards.

In a news release on Monday, March 18, the prime sponsor of the bill, Marko Liias, D-Edmonds, stated, "The contributions of gay Washingtonians deserve recognition, and just as importantly, students deserve to see themselves in their schoolwork."

"That leads to better attendance, better academic achievement, and better overall quality of life, ensuring success for all our students," he added.

The Washington State School Directors' Association and OSPI are mandated to develop a model policy by June 2025.

As part of this model, school boards must adopt educational materials that are age-appropriate and recognize the accomplishments and histories of LGBTQ individuals.

The model curriculum must also encompass historically marginalized groups, such as individuals from diverse racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds, as well as those from various socioeconomic and immigration backgrounds.

OSPI is required to publish an updated version of the learning standards on their website by September 2025, and by October 2025, schools must implement the necessary policy changes to adhere to the model. Presently, seven states, including Oregon, California, and Colorado, mandate inclusive curricula in schools.

The American Bar Association asserts that it is critical to provide social and educational support, like those found in Washington's new law, especially for LGBTQ students.

“Lack of such support can adversely affect their academic motivation and can lead to sadness, feelings of disconnectedness, and even suicidal ideation,” the ABA noted in a July 2022 report.

It further said, "When LGBTQ students perceived their schools to be as safe as did straight cisgender students, the disparities in outcomes were reduced, though not eliminated."

Wrapped in bisexual flag and pride flags this trio are waving small pride flags and watching a gay p
Schools in Washington will teach the history of LGBTQ (Getty Images)

Democratic lawmakers were reviewing the proposal for the second consecutive year. When initially introduced during the 2023 session, the House did not advance the bill.

Republicans in both chambers opposed the legislation during debates, citing concerns that it undercut local control, and thus did not lend their support to the measure.

In a February House floor debate, Representative Travis Couture, R-Allyn, stated, "People are withdrawing their children from schools due to cumulative policies, such as this one and numerous others."

The bill was approved by the Senate with a vote of 29-19 on January 17. Subsequently, in the House, the bill passed with a vote of 56-37, with five lawmakers excused, per Olympian.

Internet divided on the new law

Several social media users expressed their opinions on the law, with many showing support for schools teaching LGBTQ topics, while others criticized it.

A Facebook user said, "That's gonna be a big no for me." Another user wrote, "That's really good to hear. I mean schools are learning everything else. For those that disagree I respect it but you have to realize individuals of the LGBTQ community have gone and still go through so so much." 

The next user opined, "Sooo I understand that this may be important to some, and I respect that. But I think there's more important things that need to be taught. Like how to save money, finances, cooking, amongst other things that have been removed from most schools." [sic]

A user even wrote, "It's ridiculous." 

One more user wrote, "If individuals are not learning then how are they going to know how to deal with an LGBTQ individual respectably? They are not because at home they might not be taught. I totally get your point as well and do agree that they need to bring those back." [sic]

A user even went on saying, "I am never coming back to teaching." While another user wrote, "This should not be mandatory." 

This article contains remarks made on the Internet by individual people and organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support claims or opinions being made online.

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