San Francisco High School to Offer First LGBT Studies Course

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A San Francisco high school will offer the first-of-its-kind “LGBT Studies” course next fall.

According to the San Francisco Examiner, government, history, and economics teacher Lyndsey Schlax will teach the course at Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts. “The overarching theme of the year is the nondominant narrative of the American experience,” Schlax said. “I think there is a lot going on in terms of the advancements of rights for the LGBT community.”

The class, which had 25 students enrolled in it as of last week, is an elective and will contribute toward the graduation requirements of the San Francisco Unified School District.

Schlax likened the militant LGBT agenda to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.

“We’re moving towards marriage equality, we’re moving toward same-sex couples being able to adopt in all states, we’re moving towards all sorts of workplace protections,” she said.

The class will have three units: terminology, identities of LGBT leaders – such as Harvey Milk – and the history of the LGBT movement, including the spread of AIDS in the 1980s, and how those who identify as LGBT are portrayed.

“Schlax said there will also be a week to focus on transgender issues and the perception of LGBT people worldwide, including the opposition and persecution they face,” reports the Examiner.

“The class will include a field trip to San Francisco’s GLBT [sic] History Museum, which will allow students to learn from the museum’s 30-year-old archive,” continued Schlax.

“The archive was formed in 1985 in the height of the AIDS pandemic when no one would take our materials because of prejudice,” said Daryl Carr, acting executive director of the museum.

According to high school Principal Brian Kohn, 30 percent of the student body identifies as “LGBT.”

Last year, however, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) observed in the National Health Interview Survey that only 1.6 percent of respondents self-identified as gay or lesbian, and even less – 0.7 percent – self-identified as bisexual.

“Certainly for those students who identify as LGBTQ the impact of this course could not be underestimated,” Kohn told the Examiner. “For those students who take the course and don’t identify as LGBTQ, this course will build understanding and compassion that in every case serves us all.”


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