New State Laws Aimed At Protecting LGBTQ Students And Students Who Are Pregnant Or Parenting

Lozano Smith Client News Brief
January 2020
Number 1

Assembly Bills (AB) 493 outlines new requirements for school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools to train certificated employees, serving in grades 7 to 12, to support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning (LGBTQ) youth. AB 809 outlines new requirements for public colleges and universities to increase awareness of the Title IX rights provided to pregnant and parenting students. Additionally, AB 34 requires that specific information on bullying and harassment prevention be posted on the websites of school districts. (For more information see CNB 70.)

AB 493: LGBTQ Resources and Trainings for Teachers

AB 493 was signed into law on October 12, 2019, adding Education Code section 218 with the goal of improving the overall school climate for LGBTQ students. Specifically, by no later than July 1, 2021, AB 493 requires the California Department of Education (CDE) to develop and update resources for in-service training on school site resources (e.g., counseling services, peer support groups, relevant policies, etc.) and community resources for LGBTQ pupils (e.g., healthcare providers experienced in treating LGBTQ youth), as well as strategies to increase support for LGBTQ students. The CDE will design the training resources for schools serving students in grades 7 to 12. Importantly, the new law encourages schools to use the training resources to provide training at least once every two years to teachers and other certificated employees who serve students in grades 7 to 12.

AB 809: Website Posting Requirement for Title IX Protections for Pregnant and Expecting Students

AB 809 was signed into law on September 6, 2019, and requires public postsecondary institutions (the University of California, the California State University, and California community colleges) to prominently post on each institution's website and provide information regarding, Title IX protections for pregnant and parenting students. Title IX is an existing federal law prohibiting discrimination of any person on the basis of sex, in any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. Implementing Title IX in California, Education Code section 66281 outlines various accommodations afforded to pregnant and parenting students. AB 809 now adds section 66061 and amends section 66281.7 to:

  • Require all public colleges and universities to inform pregnant and parenting students of the protections provided by Title IX on the institution's website;
  • Require each public postsecondary educational institution with an on-campus medical center to provide notice of the protections provided by Title IX through the medical center to a student who requests information regarding policies or protections for students with children or pregnant students and when otherwise appropriate; and
  • Encourage child development programs established by the public postsecondary educational institutions to give specified priority to children of students who are unmarried and meeting specified income requirements.

AB 493 and 809 are focused on providing training and resources that will support LGBTQ youth and parenting students in public colleges and universities. LEAs and public colleges and universities should review these requirements to make sure they are in compliance.

If you have any questions about these bills or about student issues in general, please contact the authors of this Client News Brief or an attorney at one of our eight offices located statewide. You can also subscribe to our podcast, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn or download our mobile app.
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As the information contained herein is necessarily general, its application to a particular set of facts and circumstances may vary. For this reason, this News Brief does not constitute legal advice. We recommend that you consult with your counsel prior to acting on the information contained herein.