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Thursday, April 18, 2024
HomeLatest NewsCalifornia Governor Signs Law Prohibiting Schoolbook Bans on Racial and Gender Teachings

California Governor Signs Law Prohibiting Schoolbook Bans on Racial and Gender Teachings

California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a new bill prohibiting school boards from rejecting textbooks that discuss the contributions of individuals from diverse racial backgrounds, sexual orientations, and gender identities. The measure is aimed at preventing the whitewashing of history and book bans in schools. Newsom stated that the new law solidifies California as a place where families have the freedom to decide what is appropriate for their children’s education. The bill, which takes immediate effect, addresses the controversial issue of book censorship that has been a political flashpoint across the United States.

The banning and censoring of books has become a contentious topic in various states, with many conservative-dominated school boards implementing restrictions on textbooks covering sexuality and LGBTQ+ history. The bill in California gained attention when a Southern California school board rejected a social studies curriculum that included material teaching about Harvey Milk, an influential San Francisco politician and gay rights advocate. To ensure compliance with state requirements, Newsom threatened the school board with a $1.5 million fine, leading them to approve a modified curriculum for elementary students.

The newly signed legislation prevents school boards from banning instructional materials or library books that provide inclusive and diverse perspectives in line with state law. The bill’s passage came after heated debates surrounding the role of the state in approved curricula by local districts, as well as ensuring students are exposed to accurate and diverse portrayals of history. In addition to the textbook bill, Newsom also signed a separate bill increasing penalties for child traffickers, which had faced initial opposition from Democrats who were concerned about potential unintended consequences for victims. However, the bill was later amended to protect victims and was revived following Newsom’s expressed disapproval of its failure to advance.

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