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AB-1318 School safety: Safe Place to Learn Act.(2017-2018)



Current Version: 05/03/17 - Amended Assembly        


AB1318:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  May 03, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 18, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1318


Introduced by Assembly Member Chiu

February 17, 2017


An act to amend Sections 234.1 and 234.5 of, and to add Sections 234.4 and repeal Section 234.6 to, of, the Education Code, relating to school safety.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1318, as amended, Chiu. School safety: Safe Place to Learn Act.
Existing law establishes the system of public elementary and secondary schools in this state, and provides for the establishment of local educational agencies to operate these schools and provide instruction to pupils. Existing law states the policy of the State of California to afford all persons in public schools, regardless of their disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or any other specified characteristic, equal rights and opportunities in the educational institutions of the state. Existing
Existing law, the Safe Place to Learn Act, requires the State Department of Education, as part of its regular monitoring and review of a local educational agency, to assess whether the local educational agency has, among other things, adopted a policy that prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying, as specified, and has publicized that policy to pupils, parents, employees, agents of the governing board, and the general public.
This bill would provide that these and related provisions apply to school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools.
Existing law also requires the department to assess whether the local educational agency has provided to certificated schoolsite employees who serve pupils in any of grades 7 to 12, inclusive, information on existing schoolsite and community resources related to the support of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning pupils, or related to the support of pupils who may face bias or bullying on the basis of religious affiliation or perceived religious affiliation, as specified.
This bill would additionally require the department to assess whether the local educational agency has provided that information related to the support of pupils who may face bias or bullying on the basis of actual or perceived disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, race, ethnicity, or national origin.

The bill would require a local educational agency to report to the Superintendent of Public Instruction incidents of bullying and the responses to those incidents, thereby imposing a state-mandated local program. The bill would require the report to include the perceived motivation for each bullying incident and to be made publicly available, provided that certain identifying information would not be disclosed.

Existing law requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to post, and annually update, on the department’s Internet Web site and provide to each school district a list of statewide resources, including community-based organizations, that provide support to youth, and their families, who have been subjected to school-based discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, on the basis of religious affiliation, nationality, race, or ethnicity, or perceived religious affiliation, nationality, race, or ethnicity.
This bill would additionally require that list to include resources that provide support to youth, and their families, who have been subjected to those things on the basis of disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation, or perceived disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation.
Existing law requires the department’s Internet Web site to include a list of statewide resources for youth who have been affected by gangs, gun violence, and psychological trauma caused by violence at home, at school, and in the community.
This bill would require the department’s Internet Web site to also include model trainings and curricula that include tools and methods for addressing intergroup conflict and promoting positive intergroup relations.
The bill would require a school operated by a school district or county office of education and a charter school, before the 7th week of every school year, within the first 6 months of the 2019–20 school year and once every 5 years thereafter, as part of a regularly scheduled staff meeting or professional development event, to provide in-service training to certificated schoolsite employees who serve pupils in grades 7 to 12, inclusive, on tools and methods for addressing intergroup conflict and promoting positive intergroup relations, thereby imposing a state-mandated local program. The bill would require that a newly hired certificated schoolsite employee complete this training within 6 months of employment. The bill would make these provisions inoperative on July 1, 2031, and would repeal them as of January 1, 2032.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) All pupils deserve and need safe, inclusive, and supportive school environments in which to learn.
(2) Since the November 2016 election, there has been an increase in the number of reports of harassment, intimidation, and discrimination across the nation. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, schools have been the most common locations for hate incidents.
(3) Before the November 2016 election, more than two-thirds of 2,000 K–12 teachers surveyed nationwide said that pupils expressed concerns or fears about what might happen to them or their families after the election. These concerns have been exacerbated since the election with reports of a disturbing rise in the targeting of pupils of color, Muslim and immigrant pupils, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) pupils in schools.
(4) Research shows that LGBTQ youth are three to four times more likely than their non-LGBTQ peers to attempt suicide, and a staggering 60 percent of transgender youth report having considered suicide, according to Equality California.
(5) Despite much progress, California LGBTQ pupils often face verbal, physical, and online harassment, which has significant effects on their academic achievement.
(6) In the Gay Lesbian & Straight Education Network’s (GLSEN) 2013 National School Climate Survey, 91 percent of California LGBTQ pupils reported hearing anti-LGBTQ remarks, 7 in 10 reported being called names or threatened based on their sexual orientation, nearly one-third reported physical harassment or assault, and 46 percent reported cyberbullying.
(7) These problems have direct effects on pupils’ school performance. GLSEN survey data shows that the average grade point average for LGBTQ pupils who have experienced harassment is significantly lower than for LGBTQ pupils who have not, and that 30 percent of LGBTQ pupils report frequently skipping class or missing whole days of school because they felt unsafe at school.
(8) Pupils who are Muslim, Sikh, or of South Asian descent often face verbal, physical, or online harassment, all of which have significant effects on their academic achievement and mental health.
(9) Recent reports indicate that more than half of Muslim and Sikh pupils in California report that they have faced verbal threats or insults, cyberbullying, or physical assaults.
(10) The federal government has recognized the harm that is caused by this bullying and has called upon Muslim parents to contact the United States Department of Justice or the United States Department of Education if their children are bullied at school.
(11) Multiple studies demonstrate that pupils who face bullying suffer academically. Bullying is also linked to other negative outcomes, including impacts on mental health, substance use, and suicide.
(12) Research demonstrates that Muslim, Sikh, and other pupils who face hate-based bias and bullying in school do not report these incidents to school staff, primarily because they believe that school staff are not trained to address these issues.
(13) Pupils of color often experience bullying in school. According to a 2015 report from the National Center for Educational Statistics, 25 percent of African American pupils, 17 percent of Latino pupils, and 9 percent of Asian pupils reported being bullied.
(14) Since the November 2016 election, there also have been reports of increased bullying, harassment, and discrimination against immigrant pupils. Incidents include Latino pupils in a California high school being handed mock “deportation letters” by another pupil.
(15) Studies demonstrate that bias-based bullying is more strongly associated with negative health effects than general bullying, and race-related bullying is significantly associated with negative emotional and physical health effects.
(16) Creating supportive learning environments improves pupil performance for all communities.
(17) The United States Department of Education provides numerous resources for schools to support pupils who are facing bullying due to their religion, race, or national origin. These resources were highlighted in an open letter dated December 31, 2015, and was sent by the United States Secretary of Education to education administrators throughout the nation.
(b) The Legislature therefore encourages school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools to provide information on existing schoolsite and community resources to educate teachers, administrators, and other school staff on the support of pupils of color, Muslim, Sikh, LGBTQ, immigrant and other pupils who may face bias and or bullying, as required by subdivision (d) of Section 234.1 of the Education Code and other applicable laws.

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 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 and Section 220 of this code, 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. local educational agency.
(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 and Section 220 of this code, 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 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. local educational agency.
(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, 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, and including a statement reaffirming the state’s policy of diversity and inclusion consistent with Sections 200 and 201. 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 actual or perceived disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, race, ethnicity, national origin, or 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) Posted the policy established pursuant to subdivision (a) in all schools and offices, including staff lounges and pupil government meeting rooms.
(f) Maintained documentation of complaints and their resolution for a minimum of one review cycle.
(g) 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) 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.
(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.
(j) For purposes of this section, “local educational agency” means a school district, county office of education, or charter school.

SEC. 3.Section 234.4 is added to the Education Code, to read:
234.4.

(a)A local educational agency shall report to the Superintendent incidents of bullying and the responses to those incidents. The report shall include the perceived motivation for each bullying incident.

(b)A report pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be made publicly available, provided that identifying information in the report that is required by law to be kept confidential shall not be disclosed.

SEC. 4.SEC. 3.

 Section 234.5 of the Education Code is amended to read:

234.5.
 (a) The Superintendent shall post, and annually update, on the department’s Internet Web site and provide to each school district a list of statewide resources, including community-based organizations, that provide support to youth, and their families, who have been subjected to school-based discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, including school-based discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying on the basis of religious affiliation, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, nationality, race, or ethnicity, or perceived religious affiliation, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, nationality, race, or ethnicity.
(b) The department’s Internet Web site shall also include both of the following:
(1) A list of statewide resources for youth who have been affected by gangs, gun violence, and psychological trauma caused by violence at home, at school, and in the community.
(2) Model trainings and curricula that include tools and methods for addressing intergroup conflict and promoting positive intergroup relations. For purposes of this paragraph, “intergroup” has the meaning specified in Section 234.6.

SEC. 5.SEC. 4.

 Section 234.6 is added to the Education Code, to read:

234.6.
 (a) For purposes of this section, “intergroup” means between groups that are defined by race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, disability, economic status, age, sex, or gender, including gender expression and identity.
(b) Before the seventh week of every school year, as part of a regularly scheduled staff meeting or professional development event, a A school operated by a school district or county office of education and a charter school shall provide in-service training to certificated schoolsite employees who serve pupils in grades 7 to 12, inclusive, on tools and methods for addressing intergroup conflict and promoting positive intergroup relations. relations within the first six months of the 2019–20 school year, and once every five years thereafter, as part of a regularly scheduled staff meeting or professional development event. A newly hired certificated schoolsite employee shall complete this training within six months of employment.
(c) This section shall become inoperative on July 1, 2031, and, as of January 1, 2032, is repealed.

SEC. 6.SEC. 5.

 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.