EQCA Sponsored Bill that Gives Teachers Support Resources for LGBT Students Goes to Governor

Today, the Legislature passed AB 827, authored by Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D – Long Beach) and sponsored by Equality California. AB 827 offers more support and provides safer learning environments for LGBTQ students by ensuring that schools provide 7th – 12th grade teachers information on school site and community resources available to their LGBTQ students. “I can tell you first-hand that school climate has a direct impact on how well students learn and interact with their peers,” said Assemblymember O’Donnell, a classroom teacher, who chairs the Assembly Education Committee.“LGBTQ youth are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide and suffer significantly higher dropout rates than their straight peers. Giving teachers the tools they need to foster a supportive learning experience will improve academic achievement and make our schools safer for LGBTQ students.”

Despite recent progress, California LGBTQ students continue to face verbal, physical, and online harassment. “Seven in ten LGBT students still say they’ve been targets of abuse or threats but never report the incidents because they think educators won’t respond,” said Rick Zbur, Executive Director of Equality California. “Teachers are the front line in creating a supportive school environment and this bill will give them tools to help all students succeed.”

AB 827 now moves to the Governor’s desk where it must be considered before October 11.

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