Sexual education in public schools has long been a controversial topic. But state legislatures must take a closer look at comprehensive health education laws if educators are to address medically accurate information with students and stop spreading disinformation.
By: guest contributor Julia A. Nephew. “To me this has been a reminder of how invisible LGBTQ people in history still are in many school curriculum,” author Robin Stevenson said of District 200 canceling her Oct. 2 talk. “And it does make me feel like it’s important that all kids are aware of the really significant contributions of LGBTQ people throughout history, and it’s important that LGBTQ kids and teens in particular see their own lives and identities reflected in the books they read.”
By: guest contributor Richard Price. Loudoun County Public Schools took an important first step towards inclusive support of all students with its diverse classroom libraries initiative. We can only hope that it will not bend to the forces of intolerance. Schools and libraries have a public duty to depict the world as it actual is and not as some people wish it were.
Wringing activism from a moment of adversity within the library. I’d be hard pressed to find a more satisfying example of taking an untenable incident and converting it into a teachable moment that evokes compassion, empathy, and understanding.
Long banished are the images of the library as a stuffy and sedate place where any utterance above a whisper was met with swift opprobrium. Shushes and scowls from curmudgeon librarians ready to revoke your borrowing privileges. Very much far from that staid stereotype, libraries have become fortresses of acceptance and forthright with welcoming upright and raucous revelry within their aisles. And nothing encapsulates this veering toward the vivacious than the wildly successful Drag Queen Story Hours.
While library materials and events related to LGBTQ+ issues have unfortunately seen plenty of challenges, and drag queen story times have proven particularly controversial, I find this particular instance especially troubling. Libraries are for everyone which, it should go without saying, includes LGBTQ+ people who, as Snyder points out, pay their taxes too. They deserve materials and programming that are relevant to them, just as much as the rest of us.
In response to a challenge to a LGBTQ display in Maine, I argue that LGBTQ are mainstream parts of today’s culture (not a “far left” agenda as the challengers argued), that creating LGBTQ displays is still a political act, just as choosing not to create those displays would be.
Juno Dawson, renowned author of 17 books and columnist, celebrates her birthday on July 10.
Youth need a space where they feel accepted, and the library can be that space.
By Guest Contributor Richard Price – On 2 May 2019, a group led by a Watchung Hills High School student and his father sued the school (and various administrators and educators). The student asserted that he “suffered damages as a result of being required to read Fun Home including emotional, psychological and other damages.”