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German Schools Under Fire for Diversity, Equality and LGBT Teaching

By Stephen Fuchs on

Our world is made up of all kinds of diverse people, whether it is the color of their skin, the ones they love, their interests and even the way they dress, but when schools try to embrace that diversity and individuality, their efforts can be drowned out by vocal protests. That is what happened when the German state of Hesse decided to follow in the footsteps of Berlin and Brandenburg and encourage acceptance of the different individual identities throughout the school curriculum.

“show children that there are different ways to love and live”

This school year the Hessian ministry of education has implemented the new curriculum that requires teachers to encourage the discussion of gender and sexual diversity that goes beyond the already required sex ed classes. Teachers are being asked to insert diversity in any subject, including math.

Markus Ulrich, a member of the German LGBT rights group Lesben und Schwulenverband (LSVD), offered his support by stating that the “idea is to show children that there are different ways to love and live. For example, in math, a teacher could set a question that includes a gay family. Or in English when they study Romeo and Juliet, they could ask about other types of relationships that are sometimes disapproved of.”

not meant to encourage kids to become something they are not, but instead embrace who they truly are

Some parents have protested the change under the belief that it is promoting homosexuality, but the core of the curriculum is not meant to encourage kids to become something they are not, but instead embrace who they truly are.

Germany’s growing far-right Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) party is one of the groups fighting against the change, and is calling for schools to move towards the other extreme by stripping out all LGBT teaching in schools in favor of a “classical family values” focus that teaches the primary purpose of life: the marriage between a man and a woman.

Sources: The Guardian

Photo: Procsilas Moscas [Flickr]