LGBTQ education is now mandatory in N.J. schools. Here’s how teachers are preparing.

For a high school history assignment on the Holocaust, Olivia Loesch chose the pink triangle, used by the Nazis to persecute gay men in concentration camps and decades later a symbol of pride for the gay rights movement.

“I never knew about it,” said Loesch, 15, a sophomore at Haddon Heights High who came out in seventh grade and now identifies as gender-queer. “I feel that the topic should be talked about and people should know about me.”

Educators in her public school district — and 11 others in New Jersey — are now testing a pilot curriculum to include instruction about the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Gov. Phil Murphy signed a law last year requiring New Jersey public schools to include LGBTQ-related instruction in lesson plans for middle and high schoolers statewide. The mandate takes effect statewide for the 2020-21 school year.


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