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CaliforniaSpecificLaws

Page history last edited by Rob Darrow 2 years, 5 months ago

California Specific Laws in Support of LGBT Youth

Updated: April 9, 2016. Rob Darrow, Ed.D. Safe Schools Project of Santa Cruz.

 

Listed below in chronological order are California state laws that have been passed and signed by the Governor regarding LGBT youth.

 

2015 – California Health Youth Act - CHYA - LGBT Inclusive Sex Education (AB 329, Weber)

Updates the state’s sexual health and HIV prevention curriculum to provide instruction that is more up-to-date, comprehensive and inclusive of LGBT people and their families; includes understanding of AIDS and HIV and transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. This legislation ensures that all students have access to medically accurate and unbiased sexual health education.

(Web: http://www.eqca.org/governor-brown-signs-lgbt-inclusive-sex-ed-bill/)

  

2014 – LGBT Cultural Competency for Health Care Providers (AB 496, Gordon)

This law clarifies that existing cultural competency training for health care providers should include discussion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues. Also redefines the term “cultural and linguistic competency” to mean understanding and applying the roles that culture, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression play in diagnosis, treatment, and clinical care.

(Web: http://www.eqca.org/site/pp.asp?c=kuLRJ9MRKrH&b=8584587)

  

2013 – Education Code 221.5. School Success and Opportunity Act  (AB1266, Ammiano)This law went into effect on January 1, 2014.

This law affirmed that transgender youth have the opportunity to fully participate and succeed in schools across the state.  It restates existing California and federal law making sure students can fully participate in all school activities, sports teams, programs, and facilities that match their gender identity.

 

The new law builds on a national movement to end discriminatory practices and ensure transgender youth have the same opportunity to succeed as other students. Massachusetts and Colorado have statewide policies in line with AB 1266, and the Colorado and Maine state human rights commissions have held that state law requires schools to respect students’ gender identity. Additionally, many school districts across the country have adopted policies that ensure no student is left out, including the Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second largest school district.

(Web: http://transgenderlawcenter.org/archives/3544)

    

2011 – Education Code 51204.5. Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful (FAIR) Act (SB 48, Leno, 2011).  This law went into effect on January 2, 2012.   

This law required schools to provide general instruction and textbooks that include information on the contributions of "Native Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, European Americans, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, persons with disabilities, and other ethnic and cultural groups" particularly in the area of social sciences. The act also adds sexual orientation and gender identity to the state's existing anti-discrimination protections that prohibit bias in school activities, instruction and instructional materials.

(Web: http://www.eqca.org/site/pp.asp?c=kuLRJ9MRKrH&b=6451639)

  

2011 – Education Code: 234.5. Seth’s Law – (AB 9, Ammiano)   

This law requires School Districts to:

  • Adopt a strong anti-bullying policy that specifically spells out prohibited bases for bullying, including sexual orientation and gender identity/gender expression.
  • Adopt a specific process for receiving and investigating complaints of bullying, including a requirement that school personnel intervene if they witness bullying.
  • Publicize the anti-bullying policy and complaint process, including posting the policy in all schools and offices.
  • Post on the district website materials to support victims of bullying.

(Web: http://www.eqca.org/site/pp.asp?c=kuLRJ9MRKrH&b=6586657 )

  

2007 – Education Code: 234. California Safe Place to Learn Act (AB 394, Levine)

This law specified the State’s responsibilities to keep schools safe and fight bias and harassment in schools by requiring that Education, as part of its annual monitoring and review of LEAs, assess whether they have complied with existing anti-discrimination and harassment laws. More specifically, the act requires that the State Department of Education to monitor whether LEAs have adopted both a policy that prohibits discrimination and harassment based on a student’s actual or perceived characteristics (or the association with a person or group with one of these actual or perceived characteristics).

(Web: http://www.eqca.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=kuLRJ9MRKrH&b=4026609&ct=5195377)

 

  

2007 – Ed. Code: 200, 210.7, 212.6, 219, 220.  The Student Civil Rights Act (SB 777, Kuehl)

Signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger, this bill protects students from harassment and bullying in public schools by making sure teachers and school administrators fully understand their responsibilities to protect youth. The State of California must afford all persons in public schools equal rights and opportunities regardless of their gender identity. Furthermore, this act standardized various nondiscrimination statutes throughout the Education Code by amending those laws with a reference to the characteristics contained in the general prohibition of discrimination.

(Web: http://www.eqca.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=kuLRJ9MRKrH&b=4026609&ct=5197703)

  

2003 – Ed. Code: 221.5, 51930. California Comprehensive Sexual Health Education Law (SB 71, Kuehl)

SB 71 became law on January 1, 2004. This act requires that all materials and instruction be age-appropriate, medically accurate, and objective. In grades 7-12, classes must cover the safety and effectiveness of all FDA-approved methods for preventing sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy, which means they have to cover condoms and other contraceptives and not just abstinence. Teachers must be properly trained in the subject. In addition, this act:

  • Requires that instruction and materials shall teach respect for committed relationships as well as marriage. It removes all reference to “abstinence until marriage” to reflect that, if today's laws remain the same, not all students will have the right to marry their chosen life partner.
  • States that sex education instruction and materials may not teach or promote religious doctrine or reflect or promote bias against any person on the basis of any category protected by the state’s school nondiscrimination policy, Education Code Section 220, which includes actual or perceived gender and sexual orientation.
  • Changes the language to make it more inclusive. For example, now, in grades 7-12, sexual health education must teach the value of abstinence from sexual intercourse in preventing pregnancy and the value of abstinence from sexual activity in preventing sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Requires that all instruction and material be appropriate for use with students of all races, genders, sexual orientations, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and students with disabilities.

(Web: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/he/se/http://www.gsanetwork.org/resources/legal-resources/sb-71-fact-sheet-california )

 

  2000 – Ed. Code: 220. California Student Safety and Violence Prevention Act 

(AB 537, Kuehl)

Signed into law in September 1999. This law prohibits discrimination in California public schools on the same grounds used to define hate crimes under California law regarding discrimination and harassment. This legislation added two new forms of discrimination in law including actual or perceived sexual orientation and actual or perceived gender identity.

 

A follow up AB 537 Task Force was developed by State Superintendent of Schools Delaine Eastin to identify, research, and recommend guidelines for safe school environments in California.

(Web: Assembly Bill 537 Advisory Task Force Report. http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/ss/se/documents/ab537report.pdf )

 

California Specific Court Cases:

 

2013. Arcadia Unified School District and U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights

Agreement: http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/edu/documents/arcadiaagree.pdf ;

Article: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/united-states-reaches-agreement-arcadia-california-school-district-resolve-sex-discrimination

 

2008. Superior Court Case: Donovan and Ramelli v. Poway Unified School District, San Diego, Ca.

Decision: http://www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/cases/donovan-and-ramelli-v-poway-unified-school-district

Blogpost: http://learningboosters.blogspot.com/2008/01/poway-learned-its-lesson-in-this-case.html

 

Colin v. Orange Unified School District (2000).

Decision: http://www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/cases/colin-v-orange-unified-school-district 

Article:  http://www.ocweekly.com/news/anthony-colin-made-el-modena-high-school-a-safer-place-6429366

 

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