Long Beach Unified School District’s ethnic studies course includes “suggested” activity on “rape culture”


Long Beach Unified School District’s high school ethnic studies course outline includes discussing “sexual discrimination/harassment, human trafficking, birth control, abortion, rape, and domestic violence” as part of a “Gender Identities” unit. We know this because of documents obtained through a public records filed by Zachor Legal Institute.

A suggested activity for the unit invites students to “read articles about rape culture” and open a “class dialogue to evaluate how sexism influences ideas about rape.” 

Suggested readings include an article from Learning for Justice, the educational arm of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which said that resisting dress codes that “police girls’ bodies” is a way to “disrupt rape culture.”

A course description for “Ethnic and Identity Studies” on the district’s website states that, through the class, “students grapple with concepts of identity, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and class.” Through ethnic studies, “students understand the politics of privilege.” 

Other units discuss intersectionality and white privilege. In a unit on “Key Concepts in Ethnic and Identity Studies,” high schoolers are asked to “define the ‘invisible backpack’ to understand ideas of white privilege.” Readings throughout the course include articles from Learning for Justice, the educational arm of the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Zinn Education Project

Long Beach Unified Schools also offers an ethnic studies course for middle schoolers. The middle school course description says “students understand the politics of privilege and the historical reasons for structural racism, classism, and discrimination” through ethnic studies. The course “seeks to empower all students to engage socially and politically.” The Long Beach Unified School District’s course outline for middle schoolers asks seventh and eighth graders to “Develop a greater understanding of their own race, class, gender and sexual identities.” 

In 2021, California became the first state to require students to take an ethnic studies course in order to graduate.

High School Ethnic Studies:

Middle School Ethnic Studies: