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Supporting LGBTQ+ Students

Instructional guidance, law, and policies for local educational agencies to support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ+) students and provide safe learning environments that protect the health and safety of LGBTQ+ students.

California Curriculum Frameworks

California History-Social Science (HSS) Framework

The California HSS Framework contains a number of references to the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) Americans to California and United States (U.S.) history throughout its grade level chapters.

  • California HSS Framework Chapter 20, “Access and Equity,” (PDF) includes a section on meeting the needs of LGBT students in the HSS classroom, found on pages 24–25.
  • References to LGBT history are found primarily in the eleventh grade U.S. history chapter but can be located in three places:
    • Chapter 14, “Grade Nine—Elective Courses in History Social Science,”
    • Chapter 16, “Grade Eleven—U.S. History and Geography: Continuity and Change in Modern U.S. History”
    • Chapter 17, “Grade Twelve—Principles of American Democracy”

California Health Education Framework

California is working to ensure that every classroom is a safe learning environment and every student has access to the information they need to grow into a healthy adult. The 2019 Health Education Curriculum Framework for California Public Schools, Kindergarten through Grade Twelve (Health Education Framework) is a guidance document that districts may use when developing health education programs for students.

  • Chapter 7, “Access and Equity,” includes a section specifically on meeting the needs of LGBTQ+ pupils, found approximately on pages 37– 43
  • Content and pedagogy for meeting LGBTQ+ students’ needs is woven throughout this framework

The FAIR Education Act

California Education Code (EC) Section 51204.5—the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act—(formerly Senate Bill 48) prescribes inclusion of the contributions of groups previously excluded in the history of California and the U.S. This section previously included men and women and numerous ethnic groups; the expanded language requires inclusion of the contributions of LGBT Americans to California and U.S. history as well as their roles in contemporary society.

To review the Fair Act statute, please visit the California Legislative Information External link opens in new window or tab. web page. Frequently Asked Questions: regarding Senate Bill 48 are also available.

Resources to Support Implementation of the FAIR Act

Teaching LGBTQ History External link opens in new window or tab.: This website provides resources and lesson plans for teaching LGBTQ history and fulfilling the requirements of the FAIR Act.

LGBTQ History Month in October External link opens in new window or tab.: These are specific resources for the October LGBTQ history month.

ONE Archives Foundation External link opens in new window or tab. states that its professional development opportunities empower educators to diversify their curricula and create an affirming learning environment. The foundation’s goal is to ensure that LGBTQ history is visible and accessible to kindergarten through grade twelve (K –12) students and educators through free and low-cost resources.

The California Healthy Youth Act

The California Healthy Youth Act, which took effect January 1, 2016, requires school districts to provide students with integrated, comprehensive, accurate, and inclusive comprehensive sexual health education and HIV prevention education, at least once in high school and once in middle school.

All instruction and materials in grades K–12 must be inclusive of LGBTQ students. Instruction shall affirmatively recognize that people have different sexual orientations and, when discussing or providing examples of relationships and couples, must be inclusive of same-sex relationships. (EC Section 51933[d][5] External link opens in new window or tab.) Instruction must also teach students about gender, gender expression, gender identity, and explore the harm of negative gender stereotypes. (EC Section 51933[d][6] External link opens in new window or tab.) The California Healthy Youth Act also prohibits sexual health education classes from promoting bias against anyone on the basis of any category protected by EC Section 220, which includes actual or perceived gender and sexual orientation.

For information on the California Healthy Youth Act, EC sections 51930–51939, please visit the California Legislative Information External link opens in new window or tab. web page.

More information regarding the implementation of The California Healthy Youth Act is available on the California Department of Education (CDE) Frequently Asked Questions: California Healthy Youth Act web page.

Additional information and resources regarding the California Healthy Youth Act, is available on the CDE Comprehensive Sexual Health & HIV/AIDS Instruction web page.

School Success and Opportunity Act

EC Section 221.5(f) (formerly Assembly Bill 1266), requires that pupils be permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs, activities, and use facilities consistent with their gender identity, without respect to the gender listed in a pupil’s records.

Please visit the CDE Frequently Asked Questions related to the implementation of School Success and Opportunity Act web page for more information. [Rico, please ensure California Legislative Information goes to The School Success and Opportunity Act – hyperlink not working.]

Legal Advisory

The CDE has issued a Legal Advisory regarding application of California’s antidiscrimination statutes to transgender youth in schools.

California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System Update FLASH #158

This communication includes guidance for changing a student’s gender in the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data (CALPADS), and guidance for changing a student’s legal name in CALPADS.

Questions:  

Teacher and Leader Policy Office | 916-445-7331
School Health and Safety Office | 916-319-0314

Last Reviewed: Thursday, November 19, 2020
Recently Posted in Educator Excellence
  • Supporting LGBTQ+ Students (added 19-Nov-2020)
    Instructional guidance, law, and policies for local educational agencies to support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ+) students and provide safe learning environments that protect the health and safety of LGBTQ+ students.