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Update: Senator chickens out on textbook bill

Earlier this summer, Quillblog featured a few posts about California senator Sheila Kuehl’s attempts to get bill SB 1437 — which would make it mandatory to “to require that textbooks in California schools detail the history and achievements of gays and lesbians in America” — passed. While it made it through the California Senate in May, “facing a certain veto,” according to an L.A. Times story this week, “state lawmakers have abandoned their effort to require that textbooks in California schools detail the history and achievements of gays and lesbians in America … Supporters removed that provision of the gay rights bill … so that the measure only bars teaching anything that ‘reflects adversely’ on people because of their sexual orientation. Schools would also be prohibited from sponsoring any activities that sanction such a bias.”

What’s worse is that they didn’t even stay the course, with “State Sen. Sheila Kuehl (D-Santa Monica), the author of SB 1437, [saying] she made the change even though it removed 90% of the import of the measure, which would have been the first in the country to mandate the teaching of homosexuals’ contributions.” Instead of attempting to take it all the way and getting shot down, she pulled it, so that “the revised law is certain to win full approval by the Democratic-led Legislature,” according to the story.

We might as well look on the bright side, though: “if the bill is signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, it would add that protection to California’s existing anti-discrimination law, which prohibits instructional materials and teachers from pedagogy that is negative about race, ethnicity, disability, nationality or religion.”

Related links:
Read the L.A. Times story here