Scotland is now the first country to require LGBTQ+ history in schools

Scotland has officially become the first country in the world to implement a required LGBTQ+ curriculum in schools after a new teacher toolkit launched this week. Educators now have access to a website offering an e-learning course on teaching topics related to the LGBTQ+ community, as well as a host of inclusive lesson plans and educational support materials, according to Scottish news outlet The Scotsman.

While LGBTQ+ subjects will be taught explicitly, the new curriculum also seeks to integrate inclusion into everyday learning. Lessons offered on the website range from exercises on discrimination to a math problem involving a young girl purchasing Father’s Day cards for her two dads.

Scotland’s history-making curriculum is in large part due to the efforts of Time for Inclusive Education (TIE), an LGBTQ+ advocacy group that successfully lobbied the Scottish Parliament to implement nationwide inclusive learning. In 2017, the country’s government created the “LGBTI Inclusive Education Working Group,” which consisted of TIE and several other pro-LGBTQ+ groups, to investigate deepening inclusion in schools.

Scotland has also taken other steps to better support LGBTQ+ students in recent months. In August, the Scottish government provided guidance encouraging schools to adopt gender-neutral dress codes and allow trans students to use chosen names, pronouns, and bathrooms. The recommendations were not compulsory.

In the U.S., only seven states have adopted curricular standards that affirm LGBTQ+ people, according to the anti-bullying advocacy group GLSEN. Those states are California, New Jersey, Nevada, Illinois, Oregon, Connecticut, and Colorado. Conversely, at least four states — Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi — still have so-called “no promo homo” laws on the books that actively bar educators from depicting LGBTQ+ issues in a positive light.


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