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Pending bills would change history orientation

By Seth Hancock
  Should students, as early as elementary school, be taught history through the lens of sexual orientation?
  L. Dean Hufsey, a resident in School District U-46, addressed bills (House Bill 5596 and Senate Bill 3249) currently in the General Assembly in Springfield during public comments at the Board of Education meeting on Monday, April 23.
  The bills amend the school code to mandate that the “teaching of history shall include a study of the role and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of this country and this State.”
  Hufsey called the bills “an act of irresponsibility and a great disservice to our students and parents and other community members in the state of Illinois” and asked residents to contact their representatives to oppose the bills.
  According to the General Assembly’s website, HB 5596 most recently was re-referred to the rules committee on April 27 and SB 3249 was placed on the calendar for a third reading on April 25. California is currently the only state in the nation with such a law.
  “Every public elementary school and high school shall include in its curriculum a unit of instruction studying the significant role of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals in society. Instruction may be included in those courses that the school district chooses,” the bill states.
  The bill continues: “This instruction shall be designed to teach that LGBT individuals have a rich history and have made substantial and valuable contributions to society, including in government, arts, sciences, mathematics, sports, and education, and in the economic, cultural, and political development of society. The instruction shall teach about the rich advocacy among the LGBT community and the LGBT community's allies to be treated equally. Instruction shall reinforce that all people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, have a right to be treated with civil, legal, and human rights, and as full human beings above all else.”
  The section of the school code which the amendment is being proposed also states that there is no opt-out for parents opposed to such lessons: “No pupils shall be graduated from the eighth grade of any public school unless he has received such instruction in the history of the United States and gives evidence of having a comprehensive knowledge thereof.”
  According to the synopsis for each bill, the amendment to the school code is regarding the “textbook block grant program.” The bill would also require districts to be monitored for compliance by the regional superintendent of schools.
  For Hufsey, this bill represents further indoctrination by the government.
  “These bills are both disingenuous and hypocritical,” Hufsey said. “There’s no connection between or among the roles and contributions of famous or otherwise recognized historical figures and their real or perceived sexuality.”
  Hufsey added that the “driving force for including them in the study of U.S. history is an attempt to legitimize leftist beliefs and practices which many of us regard as indoctrination rather than education.”
  Board member Jeanette Ward alerted the public to the bills on social media back in March. She wrote: “If you disagree that this should be required by the state of Illinois and monitored for compliance by the regional superintendent of schools, you need to contact your IL state Representative and IL state Senators NOW.”





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