Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Friday, April 8, 2011

Teacher Creates Workbook to Educate Kids About LGBT Contributions

Posted By on Fri, Apr 8, 2011 at 12:37 PM

click to enlarge There is so much to learn
  • There is so much to learn

Earlier this week, a large part of San Francisco was stunned, bitter, depressed -- pick your adjective -- when some parents complained about schoolboys taking a field trip to the iconic Castro District. The boys visited Harvey Milk's camera store and stopped by the historic Pink Triangle Memorial Park.

No, they didn't visit any leather shops or adult stores.

We would venture to guess that those same uncomfortable parents aren't going to like this: A Sacramento teacher has published a cutting-edge educational workbook that aims to teach kids about the LGBT community.

The workbook has not yet made it into classrooms, but it very well could if Sen.Mark Leno's (D-San Francisco) Fair Education Act bill, which demands schools start teaching kids about the LGBT community, passes.

Angela Luna, a fourth-grade teacher at Whitney Avenue Elementary School in Sacramento, started on the workbook last year around the time of Harvey Milk Day. She said an activist group asked her to create a curriculum for school that could supplement the Harvey Milk story.

What she came up with was a 28-page workbook, In Celebration of Harvey Milk, which includes a variety of exercises for students in fourth through 12th grades. One exercise features a list of words like "compassion" and "reflection." Kids are then asked to match the words to scenarios listed on the following page.

In another exercise, kids are divided into teams, with the teacher acting as the game-show host and asking questions, such as "What do you think is Harvey Milk's biggest contribution to the United States?" The exercises are tied to state and national standards.

Luna says she piloted her workbook in her classroom last year -- but it wasn't easy. She had to get permission from all the parents before doing it, and eight of them -- out of 22 -- refused to let their kids participate.

Which isn't a bad start, Luna says.  "Eventually, it could be very much a part of the school curriculum," she told SF Weekly. "It's an exciting time -- these seeds are being planted, and 20 years from now it will be common."

And so will field trips to the Castro -- maybe.

Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , , , ,

About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert has been Online News Editor for SF Weekly since 2010. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • SuperHero Street Fair 2014

    From Batman to Superman to steampunk, people dressed up as their favorite superhero — or villain — for the annual SuperHero Street Fair held along Isails Creek, at the end of Indiana Street, on Saturday, Sept. 27. There was food, drinks, and lots of EDM music to dance to — check out all our photos form the event. Photography by Christopher Victorio.

  • @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz Exhibit
    Nathaniel Y. Downes brings back photographs from exhibit @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz. @Large runs through April 26, 2015.