Pending approval, Maryland public schools will take steps to teach the history of the LGBT civil rights movement.

Maryland education officials are developing a new history curriculum that includes lessons on the civil rights movement for the LGBT community and Americans with disabilities.

The proposed changes follow last month's letter from state lawmakers calling on Maryland school officials to create new curriculums that address the rights of LGBT and disabled communities.

     

The letter cited the 50th anniversary in June of the Stonewall riots in Manhattan, when LGBT Americans spontaneously and violently demonstrated in response to a police raid of a gay club called the Stonewall Inn. History.com characterizes the five days of rioting as a "galvanizing force for LGBT political activism."

“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,” wrote Del. Eric G. Luedtke (D-Montgomery) in the letter to State Superintendent of Schools Karen B. Salmon.

In response to the letter, the Maryland State Department of Education is developing the new curriculum and plans to present it to the State Board of Education for approval during the upcoming school year.

“It was a quick and easy win,” said Luedtke, who is a former history teacher. “I believe that the history we teach in schools should reflect the history of all Americans. For decades now, we have been going through a process where we correct that our history curriculum leaves out certain groups.”

California already has a law mandating LGBT content in its school curriculum. New Jersey, Colorado, Oregon, and Illinois have begun processes similar to Maryland's for the inclusion of LGBT history in curricula.

What are your thoughts on the changes? How would you shape the history curriculum at your child's public school? Join the discussion with a comment!