With the legislature’s September 3 passage of Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell’s AB 827, a bill supporting safer learning environments for LGBTQ students in grades seven through 12, all that awaits is a signature by Governor Jerry Brown to make the bill law.
O’Donnell’s office announced last week that the Governor has until October 11 to sign, reject, or remain inactive regarding AB 827, which guarantees schools provide teachers information and training in addition to making community resources available to LGBTQ students statewide. If the Governor remains inactive regarding the bill, it will become law on that date.
“I can tell you first-hand that school climate has a direct impact on how well students learn and interact with their peers,” said O’Donnell in a statement, 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.”
“Seven in  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 in a statement. “Teachers are the front line in creating a supportive school environment and this bill will give them tools to help all students succeed.”
Above, left: file photo.