Today's Law As Amended

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AB-9 Pupil rights: bullying.(2011-2012)



SECTION 1.

 Section 234 of the Education Code is amended to read:

234.
 (a) This article shall be known, and may be cited, as the Safe Place to Learn Act.
(b) It is the policy of the State of California to ensure that all local educational agencies continue to work to reduce discrimination, harassment, violence, intimidation, and bullying. It is further the policy of the state to improve pupil safety at schools and the connections between pupils and supportive adults, schools, and communities.

SEC. 2.

 Section 234.1 of the Education Code is amended to read:

234.1.
 The department, pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 64001, shall monitor adherence to the requirements of Chapter 5.3 (commencing with Section 4900) of Division 1 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations and this chapter  Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 200)  as part of its regular monitoring and review of local educational agencies, commonly known as the Categorical Program Monitoring process. The department shall assess whether local educational agencies have done all of the following:
(a) Adopted a policy that prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying based on the actual or perceived characteristics set forth in Section 422.55 of the Penal Code, including immigration status, and Section 220 of this code,  Code and Section 220,  and disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. The policy shall include a statement that the policy applies to all acts related to school activity or school attendance occurring within a school under the jurisdiction of the superintendent of the school district.
(b) Adopted a process for receiving and investigating complaints of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying based on any of the actual or perceived characteristics set forth in Section 422.55 of the Penal Code, including immigration status, and Section 220 of this code,  Code and Section 220,  and disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. The complaint process shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
(1) A requirement that, if school personnel witness an act of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, they  he or she  shall take immediate steps to intervene when safe to do so.
(2) A timeline to investigate and resolve complaints of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying that shall be followed by all schools under the jurisdiction of the school district.
(3) An appeal process afforded to the complainant should he or she disagree with the resolution of a complaint filed pursuant to this section.
(4) All forms developed pursuant to this process shall be translated pursuant to Section 48985.
(c) Publicized antidiscrimination, anti-harassment, antiharassment,  anti-intimidation, and antibullying policies adopted pursuant to subdivision (a), including information about the manner in which to file a complaint, to pupils, parents, employees, agents of the governing board, and the general public. The information shall be translated pursuant to Section 48985.
(d) (1) Provided, incident to the publicizing described in subdivision (c), to certificated schoolsite employees who serve pupils in any of grades 7 to 12, inclusive, who are employed by the local educational agency, information on existing schoolsite and community resources related to the support of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) pupils, or related to the support of pupils who may face bias or bullying on the basis of religious affiliation, or perceived religious affiliation.
(2) As used in this subdivision, both of the following apply:
(A) Schoolsite resources may include, but are not limited to, peer support or affinity clubs and organizations, safe spaces for LGBTQ or other at-risk pupils, counseling services, staff who have received antibias or other training aimed at supporting these pupils or who serve as designated support to these pupils, health and other curriculum materials that are inclusive of, and relevant to, these pupils, online training developed pursuant to Section 32283.5, and other policies adopted pursuant to this article, including related complaint procedures.
(B) Community resources may include, but are not limited to, community-based organizations that provide support to LGBTQ or other at-risk pupils and their families, and physical and mental health providers with experience or training in treating or supporting these pupils.
(e) (d)  Posted the policy established pursuant to subdivision (a) in all schools and offices, including staff lounges and pupil government meeting rooms.
(f) (e)  Maintained documentation of complaints and their resolution for a minimum of one review cycle.
(g) (f)  Ensured that complainants are protected from retaliation and that the identity of a complainant alleging discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying remains confidential, as appropriate.
(h) (g)  Identified a responsible local educational agency officer for ensuring school district or county office of education compliance with the requirements of Chapter 5.3 (commencing with Section 4900) of Division 1 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations and this chapter. Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 200). 
(i) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require school employees to engage with religious institutions in the course of identifying community support resources pursuant to this section.

SEC. 3.

 Section 234.2 of the Education Code is amended to read:

234.2.
 (a)  The department shall display current information, and periodically update information, on curricula and other resources that specifically address bias-related discrimination, harassment, intimidation, cyber sexual bullying, as defined in Section 48900,  and bullying based on any of the actual or perceived characteristics set forth in Section 422.55 of the Penal Code and Section 220 on the California Healthy Kids Resource Center Internet Web site and other appropriate department Internet Web sites where information about discrimination, harassment, intimidation, cyber sexual bullying,  and bullying is posted.
(b) The department shall annually inform school districts of the information on the California Healthy Kids Resource Center Internet Web site and other appropriate department Internet Web sites where information about cyber sexual bullying is posted pursuant to subdivision (a). The department may use electronic mail to inform school districts of this information.
(c) School districts are encouraged to inform pupils regarding the available information and resources on the department’s Internet Web sites regarding the dangers and consequences of cyber sexual bullying to help reduce the instances of cyber sexual bullying.

SEC. 4.

 Section 234.3 of the Education Code is amended to read:

234.3.
 The department shall develop a model handout describing the rights and obligations set forth in Sections 200, 201, and 220 and the policies addressing bias-related discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying in schools. This model handout shall be posted on appropriate department Internet Web sites.

SEC. 5.

 Section 234.5 is added to the Education Code, to read:

234.5.
 The Superintendent shall post, and annually update, on his or her Internet Web site and provide to each school district a list of statewide resources, including community-based organizations, that provide support to youth who have been subjected to school-based discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, and their families.
SEC. 6.
 This act shall not be construed to limit pupil rights to free speech as protected by the United States Constitution, the California Constitution, Sections 48907 and 48950 of the Education Code, and other applicable law.
SEC. 7.
 This act shall not be construed to require an exhaustion of any administrative complaint process before civil law remedies may be pursued.
SEC. 8.
 This act shall become operative on July 1, 2012.
SEC. 9.
 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.