Rationale: Previously, in California’s Education Code, it only specifically prohibits discrimination based on “sex, ethnic group identification, race, national origin, religion, color, or mental or physical disability” (Cal. Edu. Code §200). The code did not mention sexual orientation or gender non-conformity; the purpose of this act is to include those two and create protection for any students in public school who may fall into the two categories. AB537 also include an expansive definition of gender to include not only biological sex, but also students who appearances or behavior is different than that traditionally associated with their assigned sex. Additionally, “violence is the number one cause of death for young people in California” and that the “number of teens who attempt suicide has risen substantially in recent years” (AB 537, Sec. 2 (3)). In order to help protect children, the bill came about to include more protection for people who were not explicitly protected before under the old policy.
Policy Components: Public schools are already following the discrimination policies outline in the California Education Code. It is the responsibilities of the s...
... middle of paper ...
...ools’ employees unconsciously participate in, AB 1266, was pass and enacted in 2014, meant to fill the transgender gap in AB 357.
The implementation of the AB 357 goes hand in hand with the existing discrimination policies. Schools need to includes sexual orientation and gender identity into the existing policies and inform employees and students about it. The state will reimburse if the implementation for statewide cost does not exceed $1,000,000. The values of teaching students to not discriminate against anyone is a “discussion about respect for differences” and that this discussion concern “equity and civil rights”; this lesson will be with students throughout their life (Sexual Orientation, Our Children & The Law, 9). The fact that this bill provides safety for sexual minority students and helps reduce violence that can lead to suicide outweighs the cost.
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