Denver, CO – One Colorado, the state’s leading advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Coloradans and their families, released the following statements in response to the the Social Studies Standards Review Committee’s  recommended revisions intended for Colorado’s Social Studies Standards, specifically– due to “numerous concerns [that] were raised about the age appropriateness of referencing LGBTQ in lower grades,” the “committee removed all references to LGBTQ below 4th grade.”

“When anti-LGBTQ rhetoric, repackaged from the time of Anita Bryant in the 1970’s, is permeating our national discourse, and Florida, Texas, and Alabama are passing bills to censor discussions of the LGBTQ community in schools and criminalize parents for supporting their transgender kids, Colorado should stand as a leader against this discrimination. It is the State Board of Education and this Review Committee’s mandated obligation to take actions that will benefit all students to the betterment of our present and future society.”– Nadine Bridges, MSW (she/her), One Colorado Executive Director

During my time at DPS, I have never had an inclusive Social Studies, English, or sex education lesson. This has caused a delay in understanding my gender identity and sexual orientation when I was younger, as well as made me feel outcasted when I came to terms with who I was. For example, even though I’ve had 5 social studies and humanities classes in high school, including Civics, I’ve never seen myself represented. This means I never heard the names Harvey Milk or Marsha P Johnson. I never heard of Bayard Rustin or Lawrence v. Texas, either – at least not in class. Fortunately for me, my mother taught me about the community and made sure I knew the importance of respecting queer individuals. Not everyone grows up with this, though, and many students who identify with the LGBTQ community experience bullying by their peers who are acting out of ignorance. When children are exposed to different types of people in the right way, they are better able to understand and accept those who are different.” – Jude Ruscha (they/them), Northfield High School student

These and other recommendations from the Social Studies Standards Review Committee are to be put before the State Board of Education at tomorrow’s meeting on Tuesday, April 12, 2022 at 11:00 AM. No public comment will be allowed on Tuesday, however, there is space for testimony at the Wednesday, April 13th meeting, beginning at 9:30 AM in-person.   

Additionally, to advocate on behalf of Colorado’s LGBTQ students and their families, One Colorado sent the following letter to the State Board of Education on April 11, 2022: