AP NEWS

Alaska school district developing LGBTQ literature course

March 10, 2020 GMT

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — An Alaska school district committee continues to update a proposed literature course that includes LGBTQ issues, officials said.

The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District is still developing the course as part of its curriculum development process, KTVF-TV reported.

The district’s Curriculum Advisory Committee hopes to provide a greater diversity of choices to students by offering the course called Social Themes in Literature.

Melanie Hadaway, the district’s executive director of teaching and learning and a curriculum committee member, said adding the literature course is an attempt by the district to consider “the options we are giving students.”

The proposed class has proven to be a point of contention among members of the community. Borough residents offered support as well as opposition during school board meetings in January and February.

The committee used the community feedback to make several changes to the course studying LGBTQ themes, which will also use material combined from other classes.

The curriculum committee has removed items deemed inappropriate from the course’s reading list.

District officials met last week to discuss changes to textbooks, learning standards and electives to be offered in a third draft of the proposed curriculum.

Hadaway noted that creating a curriculum is a process that requires time.

“It is unfortunate that folks took the first draft as being a recommendation,” Hadaway said.