California is to teach LGBT history in its schools iStock

California is to become the first state in the US to teach LGBT history in schools. The decision by the California State Board of Education follows a consultation period, during which several changes, as well as the inclusion of LGBT history, were decided upon.

The changes were praised by Equality California, which campaigns for equal rights for LGBT people.

"LGBT students are frequent targets of bullying and harassment, leading to lower graduation rates, depression and a suicide attempt rate up to four times higher than their non-LGBT peers," said Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California.

"An LGBT-inclusive curriculum helps create an environment where all students can thrive. And by seeing themselves reflected in lessons and materials, students' experiences are validated and their sense of self-worth reinforced, creating the opportunity for students to be able to achieve academically."

The curriculum is expected to include figures such as Harvey Milk, and examine the growth of gay-rights groups and how laws concerning LGBT people have evolved over the years.

"The adoption of this Framework today is an important part of our instructional program, said president Michael Kirst of the California State Board of Education.

"Hundreds of people representing broad perspectives contributed to the development of this important tool for teachers and classrooms. The new framework will help guide classroom instruction at each grade level and will be used with other instructional resources to ensure all students have a broad understanding of history."

The decision comes as LGBT issues including the controversial Bathroom Bill, which dictates people must use the bathroom that matches the gender they were assigned at birth rather than the one they identify with, have made headlines.

The Bathroom Bill is one of many topics expected to be discussed at this week's Republican National Convention in Ohio.