Maryland schools push to include LGBT, disability rights in curriculum

Maryland schools push to include LGBT, disability rights in curriculum
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School officials in Maryland are developing a school curriculum that would include teaching about the history of the LGBT and disability rights movements as part of standard history courses.

The Washington Post reported that the efforts, which were encouraged by dozens of state lawmakers in a letter last month to school officials, would be presented for approval by the State Board of Education during the 2019-2020 school year.

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Maryland's State Department of Education said Friday that it had begun the process of developing such changes to the curriculum, but did not offer other details about the curriculum's reported changes.

If the changes win approval, Maryland would join at least four other states — including California, Illinois, Colorado and New Jersey — that have made efforts to require teaching LGBT history as part of the public school curriculum, the paper noted.

A spokesperson for the Montgomery County School District told the Post that the district aims to go beyond the Department of Education's standards for social studies and history classes.

“This will include ensuring diverse texts in the new curriculum in English Language Arts, as well as is in students experiences in PE/health, fine arts, world languages, and other content areas,” Gboyinde Onijala told the Post.

Del. Eric G. Luedtke (D) urged state officials to consider the history of the rights of LGBT and disabled communities in a letter to State Superintendent of Schools Karen B. Salmon last month.

“These are important stories for our teachers to tell, not only for those students who are themselves LGBT or who have a disability, but so all of our students have a basic understanding of the challenges faced by significant segments of American society,” he wrote.