For California GSAs, January 1st doesn’t just mean a new year; it means a new era! That’s when the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act goes into effect, requiring the inclusion of LGBT people and people with disabilities in social studies classes.
While you have the right to a FAIR education starting in 2012, that doesn’t mean that all California history classes will suddenly be inclusive at the stroke of midnight. Making a new law real, or implementing it, requires a lot of work. And since all of this implementation happens at the local level, YOU can work this month to make sure that your school’s FAIR come January!
Before taking action, figure out what’s happening at your school. Pay attention in your social science classes, like history, sociology, and social studies. Did your teachers mention disability and LGBTQ issues or history? Were LGBTQ people portrayed negatively just because of their sexual orientation or gender identity? If you’re not sure, talk to your teacher, let them know about the FAIR Education Act, and ask them what their plan is to make your class FAIR. If you are learning about LGBTQ and disabled history in a non-discriminatory way: congratulations! That’s awesome. Now, check in with your friends to see if their classes are FAIR, too.
With your help, GSA Network will be keeping track of which schools follow the new law, and which ones still need help. On January 1st, we’ll launch our FAIR/unFAIR website where you can report your findings, good or bad, to GSA Network. Keep an eye out for it at www.gsanetwork.org/FAIR  and in the meantime, start talking to your teachers!
If not all the social studies classes in your school are including LGBTQ and disabled people, you can change it by organizing a campaign to make your school FAIR! Go to our website to download a complete campaign guide  to fight for LGBTQ-inclusive lessons in your school.
Here are some first steps:
The FAIR Education Act was passed for students by students, and that puts you in a unique position to demand that YOUR rights are being respected. This law made history – now let’s make it real!