California Teachers Association Social Justice Statement
We, as educators, have a responsibility for the collective good of students, members, community and society while ensuring human and civil rights for all. Social justice is a commitment to equity and fairness in treatment and access to opportunities and resources for everyone, recognizing that equality is not necessarily equitable. Social justice means that we work actively to eradicate structural and institutional forms of oppression such racism, sexism, classism, lingualism, ableism, ageism, heterosexism, gender bias, religious bias, xenophobia, and other “isms” and biases.
Laws to protect LGBTQ+ Youth
CA Ed Code Section 51500 – 51501
A teacher shall not give instruction and a school district shall not sponsor any activity that promotes a discriminator bias on the basis of race or ethnicity, gender, religion, disability, nationality, or sexual orientation.
Title IX The Living Law
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. 1972
2014 Under Title IX, a recipient generally must treat transgender students with their gender identity in all aspects of the planning implementation, enrollment, operation, and evaluation of single-sex classes.
AB 537 Student Safety and Violence Prevention Act of 2000.
Changed California’s Education Code by adding actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity to the existing non-discriminating policy.
AB 537 protects students AND school employees against discrimination and harassment.
Harassment is defined as “conduct based on protected status that is severe or pervasive, which unreasonably disrupts an individual’s educational or work environment or that creates a hostile educational or work environment.”
Equal Access Act is a federal law passed in 1984. Ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court in 1990. The EQA provides that if a school receives federal aid and has a “limited open forum”, or at least one student-led non-curriculum club that meets outside of class time, it must allow additional clubs to be organized, and must give them equal access to meeting spaces and school publications.
SB 543 Minor Consent Mental Health creates a new minor consent mental health right in California. Signed by the Governor in October 2010. A minor can consent to treatment under this statute if; he/she is 12 or older, the minor is mature enough to participate intelligently in the treatment, the minor would be in danger of serious physical or mental harm without treatment, or the minor is the victim of incest or child abuse.
SB 48 Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act 2011 requires schools in California to integrate age-appropriate, factual information about social movements, current events and the history of people with disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people into the existing social studies lessons that include contributions of both men and women, people of color, diverse ethnic communities and other historically underrepresented groups.
SB 48 also prohibits discriminatory instruction and discriminatory materials from being adopted by the State Board of Education.
AB 9 Seth’s Law requires schools to establish policies to prevent bullying, be responsive to complaints about bullying, train personnel how to recognize and intervene in bullying, and make resources available to victims of bullying.
AB 1266 School Success and Opportunity Act amends the California State Education Code to clarify the roles of school staff in working with students of all genders, and clarifies that students’ access to educational resources shall correspond to the student’s gender identity. AB 1266 requires a pupil be permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs, and activities, including athletic teams and competitions, and use of facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil’s records.
AB 887 Gender Non-Discrimination Act places “gender identity and expression” alongside other protected classes in our states non-discrimination laws. The intent is to help people to understand the law and effectively address discrimination against transgender people.
AB 329 CA Healthy Youth Act updates and strengthens existing law to ensure that students receive sex education that is accurate, comprehensive, medically accurate, age-appropriate and inclusive. Additionally, the bill updates curriculum on prevention of sexually transmitted infections, HIV, and pregnancy. 2015
SB 731 Supporting Transgender Foster Youth requires that caregivers tasked with placing California foster youth in homes must take a young person’s gender identity into consideration when making housing decisions. The bill is designed to ensure that all foster youth, including those who identify as transgender, are placed in appropriate homes where they feel safe and accepted. 2015
AB 1732 Equal Restroom Access requires all single-occupancy restrooms in businesses, government buildings and places of public accommodation to be available to everyone.
AB 493 Teachers: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning pupil resources and training Introduced: 2/12/2019. Approved by Governor 10/12/2019 Requires each school operated by a school district or county office of education and each charter school to provide in-service training at least once every two years to certificated employees in grades 7-12 about community resources supporting LGBTQ+ pupils as well as strategies to increase support. (No later than July 1, 2021)
This list is not meant to be inclusive but as a guide to help protect
the rights of our LGBTQ+ students.
Created by Alyson Brauning
NEA SOGI Committee
Redwood Service Center Chair, Chair VTA Equity Team