Do you remember the last time you learned about LGBTQ people or issues at school? If not, this year promises to be different! Starting in January, you and every other California student will learn about LGBTQ people or issues in class. It’s the law, all thanks to the Fair Accurate Inclusive and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act!
To find out how your school has planned to meet the new FAIR Education Act requirements, talk to your teachers today! Here’s an example discussion:
You: Hey History Teacher! Now that the FAIR Education Act has passed, did you know that you are required to teach about LGBTQ people and issues?
History Teacher: The FAIR Education Act? Tell me more.
You: Starting in January, the California Department of Education requires that you include fair, accurate, inclusive and respectful information about LGBTQ people and issues in our history class.
History Teacher: That’s great! So how do I get started?
You: I have this fabulous resource list for you from GSA Network’s toolkit. It even has lessons you can use right away!
Check your GSA mailbox – GSA Network sent the FAIR Education Act toolkit to your GSA advisors, so that you and your GSA can make sure your school is following the law.
In the FAIR Education Act toolkit, you’ll find:
1. What GSAs Should Know About the FAIR Education Act.
2. California Department of Education (CDE) FAQ. Read this to learn more about your school’s legal obligations.
3. The GSA Network “Learning Our History” Campaign Guide. This guide will help you create a long-term strategy, or campaign, to put the new law in place at your school.
4. LGBTQ-Inclusive Lessons and Activities. This resource guide will provide classroom-ready lessons and resources so that your teachers can get started right away.
5. Students: Know Your Rights! This resource will explain important rights all students have in state-funded schools.
October is LGBT History Month so now is the perfect time to ask your teachers about their plan to include LGBTQ people and issues in their lessons. Plus, throughout the entire month of October, you can check out a new LGBT historical figure each day on Equality Forum’s LGBT History Month website. You can also check out GSA Network’s LGBTQ resources for Latina/o History Month, and for Black History Month. With resources like these, you can educate yourself and your GSA and provide resources for your teachers.
Go make history! Educate your school! If your GSA hasn’t received the toolkit yet, ask your GSA advisor or download it from our website.
Questions? Ask GSA Network!
Amanda Harris, MPS, Northern California
Daniel Solis, Southern California
Victoria Benavides, Central Valley