The Los Angeles Unified School District voted this week to strengthen its bullying protections by actively calling on teachers to intervene when they see incidents of anti-LGBT bullying and bias.
The school board met on Tuesday to discuss the ‘Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) and Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Anti-Bullying Resolution.’
As mentioned above, the resolution calls on teachers tackle anti-LGBT bullying when they see it but also aims to help promote tolerance and diversity by encouraging teachers to highlight the contributions of culturally important LGBTs by giving fair weight to promoting positive images of LGBT people in the classroom and also by making age-appropriate LGBT curriculum available in elementary and secondary schools.
The resolution, sponsored by LAUSD School Board member Steve Zimmer, directs officials to address how schools will implement the plan within 90 days.
“Every single person has value and every single person has dignity regardless of the color of their skin, regardless of their religion or their political orientation or their sexual orientation,” LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy told KTLA.
“We try to teach tolerance, acceptance and that’s the value of any curriculum,” he added.
Experts say anti-gay bullying can lead to hate crimes, suicides, murders and other tragedies.
The resolution also calls for sensitivity training for teachers and, importantly, legal guidance for staff so they understand their responsibilities to LGBT students and their families.
This comes as opponents continue to circulate a petition to put the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act, that Governor Jerry Brown in July, on the 2012 ballot in hopes that they can repeal the measure.
The legislation is designed to address gaps in California’s current school textbooks. The FAIR Education Act amends California’s Education Code to include instruction on the contributions of LGBTs, disability rights advocates, racial justice organizations and many other groups who were important in the shaping of history yet have been left out of the curriculum.
The legislation also prohibits discriminatory instruction or discriminatory materials from being used by the State Board of Education. It is hoped that this legislation may also help to passively combat bullying as children learn that LGBTs and other minority groups are very much part of society and have been throughout history.
Opponents have been widely condemned for running a campaign that alleges this Act is about indoctrinating children. You can learn more about that here.