September 25, 2023
State Superintendent-Sponsored Bills to Strengthen Supports for LGBTQ+ Youth Signed by Governor Newsom
SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today celebrated the signing of several pieces of legislation he sponsored that strengthen protections and supports for LGBTQ+ Californians, including measures to better support vulnerable youth.
“I’m pleased that our bills promoting inclusive education and supporting vulnerable youth were signed into law by the Governor,” Thurmond said. “Dangerous trends have emerged recently. A small group of extremists have continued to levy attacks on California’s schools, targeting LGBTQ+ students. These measures will protect all members of the LGBTQ+ community and provide the resources needed to support all California students.”
The measures signed by the Governor include:
AB 5 (Zbur)—The Safe and Supportive Schools Act
Requires schools serving grades seven to twelve in California to provide staff training to support LGBTQ+ pupils. Thurmond is a co-sponsor of AB 5, alongside Equality California, the California Teachers Association, and the California Federation of Teachers. These efforts have been in development since Thurmond was an Assemblymember and authored AB 2153 (Thurmond; 2018) and sponsored AB 493 (Ch. 775, Stats. 2019).
Senate Bill (SB) 760 (Newman)—All Gender Restrooms
Requires all K–12 schools in California to provide appropriate and equitable access to all-gender restrooms for students to use during school hours. Thurmond is a co-sponsor alongside Equality California. This bill came out of the State Superintendent’s Safe School Bathroom Ad Hoc Committee comprised of over 30 high school and college students across California. More information is available in this November 19, 2021, California Department of Education (CDE) news release.
“I am so grateful for the hard work of everyone who has supported this bill,” said Jasper, a Safe School Bathroom Ad Hoc Committee member. “SB 760 will provide a necessary, secure space for all students who are uncomfortable using sex-segregated restrooms.”
“In the wake of anti-LGBTQ+ policies and legislation being passed around the country and within California, SB 760 stands firmly in support of LGBTQ+ youth. I am proud to have been a part of its fruition,” said Olivia, another Safe School Bathroom Ad Hoc Committee member. “Thank you to Governor Newsom, Senator Newman, Superintendent Thurmond, and every other person who has worked on and supported this bill. Thank you for seeing us and giving us hope; it means the world.”
SB 857 (Laird)—LGBTQ+ Advisory Task Force
Establishes an advisory task force to identify the needs of LGBTQ+ pupils and to make recommendations to assist in implementing supportive policies and initiatives to address LGBTQ+ pupil education and well-being.
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Tony Thurmond —
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100