SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A San Francisco high school may be the first in the country to offer an LGBT studies course.
The course at Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts will cover terminology, and the broad history of LGBT issues.
“We’ll look at what it’s been like for gay men, what it’s been like for lesbian women, what it’s been like for transgender people,” social studies teacher Lyndsey Schlax said.
The curriculum will include LGBT history and literature, current events, portrayals in media, as well as a focus on the LGBT community in San Francisco. Schlax also said human rights activist Cleve Jones, who was mentored by the late San Francisco supervisor and gay rights activist Harvey Milk, would visit with students at some point during the session.
Schlax said 28 percent of students at Asawa SOTA identify as LGBT or questioning, more than at any other public high school in San Francisco, according to district officials.
On the school’s Facebook page, Schlax wrote:
“I’m excited to teach the class because, in San Francisco, at SOTA, students should be learning these stories; they’re ‘their’ stories. With LGBT studies, our students will be learning about advocacy, being a good ally, and the history that shaped San Francisco and the LGBTQ community. And they’ll be doing it at a watershed moment – so much is changing in America, and the world, for LGBTQ individuals. In the next few weeks the Supreme Court will announce their decision about marriage equality, and I get to teach this history as its happening. It can’t get much more exciting than that!!!”
The class, which begins this fall, is an elective and will count toward the school district’s graduation requirements ensuring students are eligible for University of California or California State University.