Public High School Introduces Groundbreaking LGBT History Course

Ruth Asawa School of the Arts might be the nation’s first public high school to teach an LGBT history course.

Image via Flickr user jglsongs

For many people, their happy memories of high school center on one of three major themes: “not showing up,” “forgetting to go,” and “leaving.” LGBT youth, who are at disproportionate risk of bullying and harassment, report particularly negative high school experiences. So a public high school in San Francisco decided it was time to change curriculum, and introduced the school’s first ever LGBT history course. According to The Advocate, this may be the first time an LGBT course has ever been taught by a public school.

Image via Wikimedia

Known as the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts, the school hopes to focus the course on the Stonewall riots, the marriage equality fight, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” as well as other anti-oppression movements. The course will also be paired with a class on ethnic studies. While the school’s class is novel, it’s part of a larger state-wide movement. California recently passed the FAIR education act, which mandates that schools teach about LGBT leaders in history. As Lyndsey Schlax, a teacher at Asawa, recently told the San Francisco Chronicle: “‘This is history. This is an experience that happened.” Schlax sees LGBT history as real history, not just a tangent. “How can we not teach history? That’s what we do.’’

(Via: The Advocate)