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New Law Puts LGBT Contributions in Elementary School Literature

By Vienna Montague, Producer
Jerry Olenyn, jolenyn@krcrtv.com
Published On: Mar 28 2013 08:35:14 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 28 2013 08:35:32 PM CDT
LGBT Literature In Schools
CHICO, Calif. -

The debate over same-sex relationships is now in the public school system, as a new law requires districts to teach children K-Thru-12 of the contributions of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender persons.

This week the California Dept. of Education released its latest list of recommended reading and it includes titles for the L.G.B.T. community.

The books are recommended according to age,  from young kids' activity books celebrating gay rights leader Harvey Milk to books for older kids like I Am J, a novel about transgender teens and Totally Joe, which tells a story about a boy coming out.

Parents on both sides felt strongly about the issue in Chico.

"I think it's good, " parent Lori Miller said,  "I think it's good for the anti-bullying movement because a lot of kids who are coming up through the middle schools are starting to realize their sexuality and feel very isolated."

Still, others thought it was a more private topic, that would be better left to parents to discuss with their kids.

Parent Robert Tosi was one of them.

"Moral issues like that should be taken care of in the home and the school doesn't really have any business teaching things like that," Tosi said.

Each district in the state will decide what books - if any - it will add to its reading lists.

Chico Unified School District told us it has not yet looked at the updated list to see if any changes will be made, adding that this is an ongoing process year around.