Report Card Shows Uneven Support for LGBT Students in California

Too many California schools still aren't doing enough to prevent bullying or to promote the physical and mental wellbeing of LGBT students, according to a new analysis from the Equality California Institute.

The institute surveyed 130 K-12 school districts to determine how many have embraced more than half a dozen state laws and other policies aimed at protecting LGBT students. The results were inconsistent.

Top tier ratings were given to just 22 “spotlight districts.” 80 fell into the middle “foundational districts” category, while 28 were considered “priority districts” — the lowest performing group. Much to the institute’s disappointment, 213 districts failed to even respond.

The report shows that many of the lowest performing districts are in conservative areas of the state.

A copy of the report is available here

Below are some highlights of the analysis from CalMatters

• All of the 130 school districts that responded to Equality California’s survey said they had anti-bullying policies in place, and most explicitly prohibit bullying based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

• 118 school districts said they require students take sexual health and HIV prevention classes, and three-fourths of those districts said their curriculum “incorporates discussions of relationships other than cisgender heterosexual relationships.”

• 113 school districts said all of their schools allow kids to use restrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity.

• The report identified 45 school districts that don’t give employees training “that even generally covers diversity, anti-bias, cultural competency and/or equity and inclusion.”

• A majority of school districts in the survey do not appear to be including LGBTQ-inclusive textbooks in their social studies curriculum, which goes against a 2011 lawmandating that schools include “the role and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans” in their history teachings.