The survey was conducted by the California Department of Education over the past year through various colleges and high schools. It showed that even in a pro-LGBTQ state, there was still work to be done to protect students from bullying at school.
The recently proposed Bill 493 would require all county office of education, school districts and charter schools to provide annual training to teachers grades 7 to 12.
According to the law, the training would focus on “strategies to increase support for LGBTQ student and thereby improve overall school climate.”
The bill was co-sponsored by Assemblyman Todd Gloria, vice chair of the California Legislative LGBT Caucus, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond.
“The bullying and name calling I experienced in school as a young gay kid is still a reality for today’s LGBTQ youth. No child should have to experience that. Students should feel safe, accepted, included, and supported in their school,” Gloria said. “Equipping educators with resources to better support LGBTQ students will create a safer and more inclusive environment for these students to be successful.”
“Every child deserves a caring and supportive school environment, and we must continue to work towards closing disparities in health, mental health and academic outcomes for our LGBTQ students,” Thurmond added.
The Assembly and the Senate had passed a similar bill in the previous legislative session, but Governor Jerry Brown vetoed it saying the law in force already requires schools to put anti-bullying policies in place.
Given the results of the study, the current legislation is not effective enough. I think this new bill could strengthen the law and improve the situation of LGBTQ+ students in California schools.
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