SPRINGFIELD, IL — (08-12-19) — Illinois Governor makes history as he signs new bill mandating Illinois public schools to be required by law to include LGBTQ history into their curriculum.

Last Friday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed House Bill 246, making it official that LGBTQ history is to be taught in schools starting on July 1, 2020.

Illinois Pubic Schools Mandated to teach LGBTQ History

House Bill 246 stipulates that public school students must study “the roles and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of this country and this State.”

The new law also includes similar mandates for African American history Polish history, Irish, Italian, Hispanic and Asian American history.

After the bill 246 passed the state Legislature in May, co-sponsor of the bill, Democratic Sen. Heather Steans of Chicago, hailed it as “one of the best ways to overcome intolerance.”

“It is my hope that teaching students about the valuable contributions LGBTQ individuals have made throughout history will create a safer environment with fewer incidents of harassment,” said Steans. “LGBTQ children and teenagers will also be able to gain new role models who share life experiences with them.” said Stean.

Equality Illinois, a nonprofit LGBTQ advocacy group, released a statement last Friday calling Bill 246 a “life-saving law” that has placed the state “on the right side of history.”

“To deny a child information that could give them hope, that could help them feel less alone, that could help them feel like they mattered ― while at the same time condemning them to hearing bigoted slurs in the hallways of their schools ― is a cruelty that every feeling adult has a responsibility to stop.” said Equality Illinois.

Illinois joins California, New Jersey, and Colorado who mandate that LGBTQ history be taught in their public schools.

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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