Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell

SACRAMENTO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — This week, Calif. Governor Brown signed AB 827 by Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D – Long Beach) into law. The new law provides greater support for LGBTQ students by ensuring schools provide teachers information on related school site and community resources available to their students.

“My experience as a classroom teacher has taught me one of the most important keys to academic success is a safe and inclusive learning environment,” said Assemblymember O’Donnell, who chairs the Assembly Education Committee. “With the passage of AB 827, we will ensure our LGBTQ students have access to community resources and teachers are able to foster supportive learning environments, improve academic achievement and make our schools safer.”

Despite recent progress, LGBTQ students continue to face verbal, physical, and online harassment. “Students need a supportive environment before they can learn, and teachers play a key role in creating a safe space to grow,” said Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California. “Research shows that LGBT kids with supportive educators feel safer at school, skip fewer classes and get better grades. This legislation will give teachers the resources they need to help.”

AB 827 will take effect January 1, 2016.

Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell represents the 70th Assembly District which includes Long Beach, Signal Hill, San Pedro and Catalina Island.