Washington’s history is filled with contributions from people of all walks of life, but often many of those stories go untold. 

A bill sponsored by Sen. Marko Liias (D-Edmonds) aims to tell those stories and ensure that current and future generations of Washington students learn about the contributions all Washingtonians have made in shaping our state.  

Liias’ inclusive learning bill, SB 5462, which passed the Senate on 29-19 vote Wednesday, will require school districts to adopt curriculum that covers inclusive, age-appropriate materials that tell the histories, contributions and perspectives of LGBTQ+ Washingtonians. 

“Growing up, it was so rare to hear anything about the contributions of the LGBTQ+ community in any setting, let alone in the classroom,” Liias said. “The contributions of gay Washingtonians deserve recognition, and just as importantly, students deserve to see themselves in their schoolwork. That leads to better attendance, better academic achievement and better overall quality of life.” 

According to the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, LGBTQ+ inclusive curriculum benefits all students, regardless of identity, and helps teach them about diverse experiences.  

“Students learn best when they see their cultures and experiences reflected in the curriculum, and all students benefit from a diversity of perspectives. This will enrich student learning and success,” Washington Education Association President Larry Delaney said. 

“It’s never too early for a student to start learning the values of tolerance and kindness towards others,” Liias said. 

The bill now heads to the House for further consideration.