Some state lawmakers want LGBTQ history taught in the classroom - – Rockford’s News Leader

Some state lawmakers want LGBTQ history taught in the classroom


Some state lawmakers want to require public schools to teach how lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender people played a role in our nation's history.  

It's an issue Luke Miller, an openly gay man from Rockford, says he would've benefited from in his education. 

"I remember the first time that LGBTQ history even came up was when we started talking about late 20th century work, but we've been around for some time now," he says. 

But, not everyone is sold on the idea.  Republican State Representative Joe Sosnowski says he doesn't think adding that element to the curriculum would fit into core subjects like math, science or language arts. 

"Let's focus on core competency, career development, getting kids ready for college and that process and leave everything else to parents and families to kind of deal with those subject areas on their own," he says. 
As for Democratic State Sen. Steve Stadelman, he says he's still making up his mind about the issue. Stadelman also says he would rather see local districts decide whether to include LGBTQ history in their own lesson plans rather than a mandate from the state. However, he thinks an inclusive learning environment would benefit all students. 

"I think we have a diverse society and I think many people have contributed to our country and the success of our country and so I think a good educator will include a broad variety of people in their lesson plans," Stadelman says.  

It's an inclusive resource Miller says would've helped him feel more comfortable in his own skin earlier in his education.  

"Representation really matters," Miller says. "I think that's really important to get across." 

That bill is still in committee and has a long way to go before it reaches the governor's desk. If it is signed into law, it would take effect next year. 

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