Assemblymember O’Donnell’s Bill in Support of LGBTQ Students Moves Forward

For immediate release:

Sacramento – Today, Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell’s (D-Long Beach) legislation to provide more support and a safer learning environment for LGBTQ students was heard by the Assembly’s Education Committee.

“As a former classroom teacher, I can say first-hand that school climate has a direct impact on how well students learn, and how well they interact with their peers. Despite much progress, California LGBTQ students continue to face verbal, physical, and online harassment.

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

O’Donnell’s bill, AB 827, specifically requires schools provide annual training to teachers on the various resources available to support LGBTQ students both at school and in the local community. This bill is a public statement of O’Donnell’s commitment to equality, and student safety.

“AB 827 will enable teachers and school administrators to foster a supportive school environment for all students, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students,” said Rick Zbur executive director for Equality California. “LGBTQ 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 encourages teachers and school administrators to have access to the information they need to support LGBTQ students so that students can succeed inside the classroom.”

After clearing Education Committee, AB 827 would be heard next in the Assembly Committee on Appropriations where it will be analyzed on a fiscal basis.

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Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell represents the 70th Assembly District which includes Long Beach, Signal Hill, San Pedro and Catalina Island.

CONTACT: Brendan P. Hughes, (916) 319-2070