Dear community member,
In recent days Gov. Newsom signed into law a number of bills that take important strides to support our schools and protect the rights and safety of students across California.
This is a significant raft of legislation that increases protections and support for all youth, and LGBTQ+ youth in particular, by countering censorship, promoting inclusivity within schools, and protecting students’ privacy rights.
These bills include:
AB 5 by Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur (D-Los Angeles) – The Safe and Supportive Schools Act: Provides professional development to educators to foster inclusive classroom environments and appropriately address the unique challenges that LGBTQ+ and all students face.
AB 223 by Assemblymember Christopher Ward (D-San Diego) – Transgender Youth Privacy Act: Requires courts to seal any petition for a change of gender or sex identifier filed by a minor to protect their privacy.
AB 1078 by Dr. Corey Jackson (D-Moreno Valley) – Instructional materials and curriculum: diversity: Prohibits “book bans” and censorship of instructional materials, and strengthens requirements for schools to provide textbooks that teach about California’s diverse communities.
SB 14 by Senator Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) – Serious felonies: human trafficking: Includes sex trafficking of minors in the list of crimes that are defined as serious felonies, making the crime a strike under California’s Three Strikes law.
SB 407 by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) – Foster care: resource families: Improves protections and foster care conditions for LGBTQ+ youth.
SB 760 by Senator Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) – School facilities: all-gender restrooms: Requires schools to provide access to all-gender bathrooms for students to use safely and comfortably
- SB 857 by Senator John Laird (D-Santa Cruz) – Advisory task force: LGBTQ+ pupil needs: Creates a statewide advisory task force to assess the unique needs of our LGBTQ+ students
I commend Gov. Newsom, Santa Cruz County’s own Sen. Laird, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, and the many more hands involved in this important work.
Yours in education and equity,
Dr. Faris Sabbah
County Superintendent of Schools