Santa Cruz Public Schools May Soon Receive More LGBTQ+ Books

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The Santa Cruz County Office of Education released a list of 40 LGBTQ-friendly books on Tuesday, which they plan to make available in all public schools in the county. “The research is really clear that when children see themselves in the books and the curriculum, they do better in school. We want all children to do well in our schools and one way to do that is to have literature which represents all different types of children,” said Rob Darrow, an LGBTQ+ consultant for the Santa Cruz County Office of Education. The books are organized into four different categories based on grade level, starting with pre-kindergarten. According to Darrow, each category presents topics in an age-appropriate manner consistent with the social science framework of California history. For example, from pre-kindergarten to grade 2, the books introduce sexual identity with an emphasis on family diversity and self-acceptance. However, some books at this level also cover nuanced topics like gender identity. The children’s book “Born Ready” follows the story of a transgender boy expressing his gender identity to his loved ones. “Not everything has to make sense. It’s about love,” the book reads. Amid the list of LGBTQ literature, 10 books are identified as resources for teachers to use and integrate LGBTQ history, culture and stories into the curriculum. doesn’t exist until that list is specific to certain grade levels for specific teachers to use,” Darrow said. The cost of storage for all public school libraries in the county is $30,000. schools, and I think 30 elementary schools across our county,” Darrow said. The Santa Cruz Office of Education has acknowledged that some parents may be reluctant to introduce these topics to their children. “If a parent has any concerns about this or any other type of material or information presented, there is a process for them. They can speak with their teacher. They can speak with their local administrator,” Faris Sabbah, of the Santa Cruz County. superintendent of schools, said. The listing comes amid a growing number of book bans across the country, many of which target books dealing with racial and LGBTQ+ topics. “Parents have the right to tell their child or tell their family that it’s not appropriate for our family at this time. But they don’t have the right to ban the book from everyone in this school community,” Lisa Bishop, the former president of the California Library Association, said. “If we promote love and acceptance and open our hearts and minds, we’ll have a stronger community. A hateful community doesn’t thrive, it dies.”

The Santa Cruz County Office of Education released a list of 40 LGBTQ-friendly books on Tuesday, which they plan to make available in all public schools in the county.

“The research is really clear that when children see themselves in the books and the curriculum, they do better in school. We want all children to do well in our schools and one way to do that is to have literature which represents all different types of children,” said Rob Darrow, LGBTQ+ consultant for the Santa Cruz County Office of Education.

The books are organized into four different categories based on grade level, starting in pre-kindergarten.

According to Darrow, each category presents topics in an age-appropriate manner consistent with the social science framework of California history. For example, from pre-kindergarten to grade 2, books introduce sexual identity with an emphasis on family diversity and self-acceptance.

However, some books at this level also cover nuanced topics like gender identity.

The children’s book “Born Ready” follows the story of a transgender boy expressing his gender identity to his loved ones.

“Not everything has to make sense. It’s about love,” the book reads.

Among the list of LGBTQ literature, 10 books are identified as resources for teachers to use and integrate LGBTQ history, culture and stories into the curriculum.

“There are many lists of LGBTQ+ books that have specific grade levels, but what doesn’t exist until that list is specific to certain grade levels for use by specific teachers,” Darrow said.

The cost of storage for all public school libraries in the county is $30,000.

“We have 14 high schools, 14 middle schools, and 14 continuing education schools, and I think 30 elementary schools across our county,” Darrow said.

The Santa Cruz Office of Education has acknowledged that some parents may be reluctant to introduce these topics to their children.

“If a parent has any concerns about this or any other type of material or information presented, there is a process for them. They can speak with their teacher. They can speak with their local administrator,” Faris Sabbah, of the Santa Cruz County. superintendent of schools, said.

The listing comes amid a growing number of book bans across the country, many of which target books dealing with racial and LGBTQ+ topics.

“Parents have the right to tell their child or tell their family that it’s not appropriate for our family at this time. But they don’t have the right to ban the book from everyone in this school community,” Lisa Bishop, the former president of the California Library Association, said. “If we promote love and acceptance and open our hearts and minds, we’ll have a stronger community. A hateful community doesn’t thrive, it dies.”

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