Bill that Supports LGBT Students Moves Through Committee

On April 22, AB 827, authored by Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach) and sponsored by Equality California, passed out of the Assembly Education Committee with a 6 to 1 vote. The bill would provide more support and a safer learning environment for LGBT students by requiring that schools provide annual training to teachers on various resources available to support LGBT students both at school and in the local community.

“Equality California sponsored AB 827, which is authored by Assemblymember O’Donnell, because this legislation will enable teachers and school administrators to foster a supportive school environment for all students, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth,” said Rick Zbur executive director for Equality California. “LGBT students have a higher dropout rate than their straight peers and are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers. Assemblymember O’Donnell’s bill provides teachers and school administrators access to information that supports LGBT youth inside and outside the classroom.”

“Teachers have the power to build an educational environment that is truly welcoming to all students,” said Assemblymember O’Donnell. “This bill provides teachers with the information needed to better support LGBTQ students, creating a safer school environment that all students deserve.”

As outlined in Equality California’s Fair Share for Equality report, LGBT youth are at higher risk of homelessness and related health problems due to social stigma, family rejection, and bullying and violence in schools. LGBT youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers, and 40 percent of transgender youth have made a suicide attempt.

AB 827 will head to the Assembly Appropriations Committee where the legislation’s fiscal impact will be analyzed.

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Equality California is California’s largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization focused on creating a fair and just society. Our mission is to achieve and maintain full and lasting equality, acceptance and social justice for all people in our diverse LGBT communities, inside and outside of California. Our mission includes advancing the health and well-being of LGBT Californians through direct healthcare service advocacy and education. Through electoral, advocacy, education and mobilization programs, we strive to create a broad and diverse alliance of LGBT people, educators, government officials, communities of color and faith, labor, business, and social justice communities to achieve our goals. www.eqca.org