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Calif. school adds gay history class

WASHINGTON — A high school in San Francisco is incorporating a gay history course into its curriculum.

Ruth Asawa School of the Arts is adding a college preparatory course that will ‘‘explore the American experience through a lens that isn’t usually discussed in traditional US history classes,’’ focusing on the gay rights movement, teacher Lyndsey Schlax said in a video on the school’s website.

The class, LGBT Studies, will look at the legalization of same-sex marriage, the US military’s ‘‘don’t ask, don’t tell’’ policy, and major gay-rights events such as the Stonewall riots in 1969 in New York.

‘‘This is history. This is an experience that happened,’’ Schlax told the San Francisco Chronicle in an interview. ‘‘How can we not teach history? That’s what we do.’’

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The course will be coupled with a class on ethnic studies, which will explore the history of minority groups in the United States, Schlax said.

The LGBT course will not teach students about sexual practices, officials at the public high school said.

In 2010, the San Francisco Unified School District proposed the addition of an interdisciplinary course on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history and literature as a way to reinforce its efforts to protect students against discrimination. But school budget cuts amid the recession put the plan on hold.

‘‘I’m glad we’re picking it up again as we get more money,’’ school board member Sandra Fewer told the newspaper.

washington post