Assemblymember O’Donnell’s Bill to Give Teachers Support Resources for LGBTQ Students Goes to Governor

For immediate release:

(SACRAMENTO) – Today, the Legislature passed AB 827 by Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D – Long Beach). 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.

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