Support California’s FAIR Education Act and Stop the Discrimination Against the LGBT Community and Persons with DisabilitiesBy Kelly Hamilton
Target: California voters in favor of “FAIR” education
Goal: To support the FAIR Education Act and stop the discrimination against the LGBT community and persons with disabilities.
This past July, California governor Jerry Brown signed off on a landmark legislation which would require public school teachers to include in their lessons contributions made by the LGBT community (as well as people with disabilities) to society. But even with this early victory for Senate Bill 48—the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act—the road to complete reform is long.
Beginning as early as the 2013/2014 school year, the FAIR Education Act would pave the way for education reform in the state and works to prevent “discrimination of any kind in our classrooms, our communities or our state,” explains president of the California Teachers Association, Dean E. Vogel. “We believe that curricula should address the common values of the society, promote respect for diversity and cooperation, and prepare students to compete in, and cope with a complex and rapidly evolving society. SB 48 does that by helping to ensure that curricular materials include the contributions of persons with disabilities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans to the development of California and United States.”
In an effort to repeal this decision, many conservative and anti-gay groups throughout the state are hoping to get the 504,760 signatures necessary for repealing the law by their given deadline of October 12. Claiming that this is “homosexual indoctrination” of school-aged children, the StopSB48 campaign will prove to be a difficult obstacle for maintaining this new legislation.
Roland Palencia, of the group Equality California, fears that if the opposition were to obtain all the necessary signatures, bringing the issue to the ballot, then the likelihood of the bill’s repeal would be much higher: as was shown with California’s inability to legalize gay marriage with the “No on Proposition 8” campaign in 2008.
–But it is not impossible.
Governor Jerry Brown’s passing of the FAIR Education Act in July helped to bring California back to the forefront of human equality issues and education reform. By passing SB 48, California supports the LGBT community, as well as those with disabilities, in educating our youth and future leaders.
For too long, these groups have been discriminated while their contributions made to society have been overlooked in the area of public education. We now have the chance to change this and to make the educational system all inclusive and to discriminate against no one.
By signing this, I pledge to support the FAIR Education Act and to do my part in ensuring that contributions made by all to our society are included in the state of California’s public education system.
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