Schools in Massachusetts will soon be able to test out a new LGBTQ-themed curriculum.
The Boston Herald reported Tuesday that the state will release the new curriculum this summer and classes will have the option to pick it up in the fall.
The lessons were developed by a group of teachers working with the Massachusetts Safe Schools Program for LGBTQ Students and the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth and will include lessons on events like the 1969 Stonewall Riots and LGBTQ writers like Langston Hughes.
Schools won’t be required to use the lessons as those decisions are made at a local level, but the curriculum will be available to all school districts.
The creators of the new units told the Herald that it’s important for LGBTQ students to be able to see themselves in the lessons taught in the classroom.
“Students need to see themselves reflected and see others who are different from themselves,” Jeff Perrotti, the director of the Massachusetts Safe Schools Program for LGBTQ Students, told the paper. “It is important that all students feel safe, valued and respected in school so they can be ready to learn.”
About 11 percent of Massachusetts high schoolers self-identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or questioning their sexual orientation, according to a 2015 survey. Another 2.9 percent of students said they were transgender.