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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.

Training

American Psychological Association: The Respect Online Course External link opens in new window or tab.
The Respect Online Course includes three self-paced modules that provide school staff (educators, school counselors, nurses, psychologists, and social workers) with the knowledge, attitudes, and skills to make schools safe and supportive for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning students.

The Trevor Project External link opens in new window or tab.
The Lifeguard Workshop is a free online learning module with a video, curriculum, and teacher resources for middle school and high school classrooms. The Trevor Project’s Trainings for Professionals include in-person Ally and CARE trainings designed for adults who work with youth. These trainings help counselors, educators, administrators, school nurses, and social workers discuss LGBTQ+ competent suicide prevention.

California Health Education External link opens in new window or tab.
The primary purpose of this website and the Health Education Framework is to offer guidance to teachers of health education that will assist them in addressing significant changes to health instruction as reflected in the 2008 Health Education Standards, as well as more recent key initiatives and legislation. This includes guidance and professional learning on being inclusive to LGBTQ+ youth in the classroom in Module One External link opens in new window or tab.. Creating safe, supportive, and inclusive learning environments, including for LGBTQ+ youth.

Resources for Schools

Curriculum Materials that are Inclusive of LGBTQ+ Youth

Peer Support or Affinity Clubs and Organizations

Safe Spaces for LGBTQ+ Students

Counseling Services

School Staff Antibias Training Aimed at Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth

Resources for Families and Communities Organized by Region

A curated list of regional organizations and guidance for the support of LGBTQ+ students, educators, and families; and strategies to increase support for LGBTQ+ students.

Region 1 – North Coast
Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Sonoma

Region 2 –Northeastern
Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Plumas, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity

Region 3 – Capital Service Region
Alpine, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo, Yuba

Region 4 – Bay
Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Solano

Region 5 – South Bay
Monterey, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Benito

Region 6 – Delta Sierra
Amador, Calaveras, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tuolumne

Region 7 - Central Valley
Fresno, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Tulare

Region 8 – Costa Del Sur
Kern, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura

Region 9 – Southern
Imperial, Orange, San Diego

Region 10 – RIMS
Riverside, Inyo, Mono, San Bernardino

Region 11 – Los Angeles
Los Angeles

Statewide Resources for Families and Communities

Counseling Services
For local physical and mental health providers with experience in treating and supporting LGBTQ+ students.

Support Groups for Adults and Youth around Gender Diversity External link opens in new window or tab.
Gender Spectrum hosts free online groups for pre-teens, teens, parents, caregivers, and other family members and adults. These groups provide you with the opportunity to connect with others, share experiences, and feel the comfort of a supportive community.

Laws and Policies

Laws and policies for local educational agencies to support LGBTQ+ students and provide safe learning environments that protect the health and safety of LGBTQ+ students

Laws Related to Supporting LGBTQ+ Students

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.

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 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 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.). This means that schools must teach about all sexual orientations and what being LGBTQ means. 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.

Legal Advisory

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

Policies Related to Supporting LBGTQ+ Students

Research, Data, and Reports

Research, Data and Reports on supporting LGBTQ+ students and improving overall school climate for LGBTQ+ students, their educators and their families.

Questions:  

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

Last Reviewed: Thursday, June 3, 2021
Recently Posted in Educator Excellence
  • Professional Learning Opportunities (added 16-Jun-2021)
    A searchable database of professional learning opportunities available throughout California and online.
  • Research, Data and Reports (added 03-Jun-2021)
    Research, data and reports on supporting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ+) students and improving overall school climate for LGBTQ+ students, their educators and their families.
  • Antibullying, Harassment: Policy, Procedure (added 03-Jun-2021)
    Information on antibullying and harassment policies and related complaint procedures for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ+) students, their educators and their families.
  • Counseling Services (added 03-Jun-2021)
    Information on counseling services for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ+) students, their educators and their families.
  • School Staff Training to Support LGBTQ+ Youth (added 03-Jun-2021)
    Information on school staff anti-bias or other training aimed at supporting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ+) youth for students, their educators and their families.

  • Health and Other Curriculum Materials (added 03-Jun-2021)
    Information on health and other curriculum materials that are inclusive of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ+) youth for students, their educators and their families.
  • Suicide Prevention Policies and Procedures (added 03-Jun-2021)
    Information on suicide prevention policies and related procedures for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ+) students, their educators and their families.
  • Policies Relating to Use of School Facilities (added 03-Jun-2021)
    Information on policies relating to use of school facilities, including, but not limited to bathrooms and locker rooms for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ+) students, their educators and their families.
  • LGBTQ+ Student Privacy: Policy and Procedure (added 03-Jun-2021)
    Information on policies and procedures to protect the privacy of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ+) students for LGBTQ+ students, their educators and their families.
  • Peer Support or Affinity Clubs and Organizations (added 03-Jun-2021)
    Information on peer support or affinity clubs and organizations for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ+) students, their educators and their families.