We reached out to BrainPOP and even asked for a meeting, but the company made it clear that they had no plans to publish a stand-alone video on LGBT history and civil rights. The company intended to revise a portion of their video on Civil Rights, we were told in an email:
I also revisited the question of whether we missed opportunities to mention this and other important movements. I have asked the team to start the process of revising the Civil Rights movie to better highlight the connection between the historical movement of the 1960s and the activism it inspired in subsequent generations. This will naturally include the LGBT Rights movement.
So why not a video on LGBT history and civil rights? Well, BrainPOP’s primary argument was that LGBT history and civil rights did not appear in the state standards.
I doubled-checked with our standards provider, and it seems that at present only four states, including New York, have specific standards around LGBT rights. Every one of those standards is at the high school level. While there are high school classrooms that use BrainPOP, we do not create topics that are applicable only to those grades.
We weren’t convinced. BrainPOP’s had published so many videos that we couldn’t imagine were directly mentioned in state standards. Our teacher reviewed the social studies standards in all 50 states and found that LGBT history and civil rights were, in fact, explicitly mentioned in both New York and California’s standards for 3rd-8th grade. He also found overwhelming support for studying movements that have preserved and expanded rights. Click on the link below to read his review!