This interactive and highly engaging panel will focus on the ever-shifting (and often groundbreaking) legal landscape regarding recent and future state-level requirements for the inclusion of LGBT-specific curriculum in 5-12 grade classes. Based in part on recent legislative wins in Colorado, Oregon, Illinois, New Jersey, this new fight for inclusion is experiencing a groundswell of support but is also facing historic opposition not seen since marriage equality debates raged through the country which often divided families, communities, and social institutions alike. With laws like “No Promo Homo‚” regulations (laws expressly forbidding teachers to discuss LGBT issues in classrooms) still enshrined into state constitutions across the country, efforts to teach students about the LGBT community’s contributions to historical, economic, and social developments throughout time have been consistently stymied. This ‘best in class’ panel will educate attendees about the intricacies and nuances of proposed future legislation while also examining the impact of current laws on students, educators, and the communities in which they exist. This panel will also explore implementation issues, including state mandates with local school board and district enactment, social issues (similar to marriage equality debates) impacted by homophobia and the false dichotomy of morality versus equality.
Speakers: Sophia Arredondo (GLSEN (formerly the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network)); Christian Fuscarino (Garden State Equality); Shannon Minter (National Center for Lesbian Rights); Zaylore Stout (Zaylore Stout & Associates, LLC); Diane Thu-Thao Rhodes (Advocates for Youth)
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