A new law could mean that teachers in California public and charter schools will be required to attend LGBTQ training. Assembly Bill 493 proposes that all teachers in grade 7-12 be required to attend LGBTQ training bi-annually. The goal of this training is to better support LGBTQ students, which often report disparities at school.
A 2015 survey by the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network revealed:
- 70% of LGBTQ students report being threatened or called names because of their sexual orientation.
- 48% of LGBTQ students report being the victim of cyberbullying.
- 30% of LGBTQ students report experiencing physical assault or harassment.
- 30% of LGBTQ students report missing time at school because they did not feel safe.
Students experiencing these issues often have lower GPAs and experience other difficulties at school. The training proposed by AB 493 would help teacher support students by offering:
- Peer support groups
- Safe Spaces
- Better enforcement of anti-bullying and anti-harassment policies
- Offering counseling services
- Teaching health that is inclusive of LGBTQ students
The Senate Appropriations Committee passed AB 493 and has moved on to the Senate. If it passes, it would go into effect during the 2021-2022 school year. If made into law, the State Department of Education will be tasked with developing the training and curriculum, and then district and county offices would provide online or in-service training.
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