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School brass OKs curriculum with LGBT figures after debate

May 2, 2019

ROCKLIN, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California school district narrowly approved a new curriculum that includes contributions made by LGBT figures.

The Rocklin Unified School District approved the curriculum in a 3-2 vote that came after a heated debate in a packed school board meeting that lasted past midnight, the Sacramento Bee reported .

Opponents said elementary students were too young to learn that historical figures identified as gay or lesbian.

“The concept of sexual orientation is far too complex of a topic for elementary-aged children to be introduced to at school,” said Rachel Crutchfield, spokeswoman for Informed Parents of Rocklin.

Crutchfield said she agrees with including LGBT leaders in history curriculum, but that it should be done in later grades when students can comprehend “complex sexual topics.”

The district spent a year piloting several units of the new curriculum, introducing it to 35 teachers in the majority of the district’s schools, said deputy superintendent Kathleen Pon.

But nearly 1,000 Rocklin residents signed a petition asking the district to delay the decision to adopt a new curriculum and those opposing it threatened to hold a “sit-out” and not send their children to school on Friday.

In 2011, California became the first state to require public schools teach about the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Before the LGBT mandate was added, California law required schools to teach about women, African Americans, Mexican Americans, entrepreneurs, Asian Americans, European Americans, American Indians and labor. Lawmakers over the years also have prescribed specific lessons about the Irish famine and the Holocaust, among other topics.

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Information from: The Sacramento Bee, http://www.sacbee.com