Advocates say that teaching about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in schools would prevent bullying and shatter stereotypes that some students may harbor. They point to several students who have committed suicide after being taunted by peers for being gay. But the bill has drawn vociferous criticism from opponents who argue that when and how to talk about same-sex relationships should be left to parents.So the motivation behind forcing this study of history has little to do with history. It's about controlling behavior.
I have this idealistic belief that young people would behave better if they were respected as students, if the study of history would be premised on the value of studying history, and if, when history is studied, historical principles determined the subject matter.
A similar bill was approved by the Democratic-controlled Legislature in 2006, but vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who said that school curriculum should be left up to local schools. But there is a new governor now. And both supporters and opponents of the bill expect it will sail through the heavily Democratic Assembly and be signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat who has been supportive of gay rights.How much easier it is for a politician to sign a bill than for students to slog through political lessons year after year instead of learning what truly belongs in a history class. It's disgusting to compel young people to go to school and then to treat them like this.
And don't tell me that the gay rights movement genuinely belongs in a history course. Let that topic be integrated into history courses to the extent that they truly belong in a history course, not because some politicos wanted to score points or because their emotive constituents feel that there's an epidemic of bullying and suicide and it can be cured by making heroes out of Harvey Milk and his ilk.
“It is very basic to me that people dislike and fear that with which we are less familiar,” said Mark Leno, who sponsored the bill and is one of the first openly gay men elected to the State Senate. Students who come to view their fellow classmates as regular members of society, rather than misfits, will find that “their behavior changes for the better,” Mr. Leno said.Leno just intuits cause and effect. "It's very basic to me" isn't a good enough foundation for a law that appropriates and exploits millions of hours of the time of other human beings. I could just assert that it's very basic to me that when young people are compelled to spend day after day, year after year, under the control of adults cranking out what sounds like state indoctrination, that they will rebel against authority. And then where's the good behavior you had your warm heart set on?
ADDED: Shouting Thomas cites "South Park":
The parents in that series are all veterans of the 60s, and they think that rebellion ended with them. They think that all of the issues of authority versus kids were solved when they were adolescents. So, they are constantly astonished to discover that their kids think they are pompous windbags preaching bullshit. Their kids are rebelling against them.Click through to see what Shouting Thomas thinks about bullying.