uring the first decade of this century, many laws havebeen enacted forwarding a plan to “normalize” lesbian,gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) lifestyles throughchanges to the state’s education code. Some key bills areidentified here.
1999 – 2000AB 537
– The Safe Schools and Violence Prevention Act of 2000 added “sexual orientation” (actual or perceived) and “gender” (actual or perceived) language to the education code,expressly prohibiting discrimination and harassment on the basis of these characteristics.In order to implement AB 537, Delaine Eastin, Superintendent of Public Instruction, createda task force to form “recommendations” for school districts to follow, such as theacknowledgement of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals in curriculum,library materials, common area visual displays and other venues in grades K-12. While theoutcome of this initial bill resulted in “recommendations” that some school districts adoptedand others did not, subsequent legislation has turned recommendations into requirements.Appropriation for AB 537 was $100,000,000.
–With curbing “hate crimes” and “hate violence” on school campuses as itspurported objective, AB 1785 revised curriculum frameworks that called for “humanrelations education” to foster appreciation for people of different ethnicities, to fosterappreciation for “culture” and “cultural diversity” that would now include “gender” and “sexual orientation” based on the Penal Code definition of the terms, which includes “aperson’s gender identity and gender related appearance and behavior whether or notstereotypically associated with the person’s assigned sex at birth.” Among otherprovisions, the bill added a course in “human relations” to the credentialing prerequisitesfor certification of those providing services to limited-English-proficient students. AB 1785also created additional “hate crime” and “hate-related incident” reporting requirements forschools.
– This bill authorized $2,150,000 for regional training and grants for students andteachers to participate in educational programs focused on countering hatred andintolerance.
2001 – 2002SB 225
– This bill added “sexual orientation” to the anti-discrimination language withregard to interscholastic sports programs.
2003 – 2004SB 71
–The California Comprehensive Sexual Health HIV/AIDS Prevention Education Act,sponsored by Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union, added “sexualorientation” (homosexuality, bisexuality, etc.) to the state’s K-12 sex education curriculumand placed “committed relationships” on par with marriage. Under SB 71, school districtsoffering sex ed in any grades K-12 may only offer “comprehensive” programs to include “age appropriate” information on contraceptives (prohibiting abstinence only programs).Schools would be required to provide HIV/AIDS instruction at least once in junior high andonce in high school. SB 71 prohibited “opt-in” sex ed policies which better protect children,and allowed students to be surveyed on sensitive sexual topics without positive parental
A Defining Decade
How LGBT Legislation Has Impacted California Education