The bill, introduced by openly gay Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), is named in honor of Seth Walsh, a 13-year-old gay teen who committed suicide last year after enduring year of bullying due to his sexual orientation.
The measure, which passed the lower house 44-17 and now heads to the Senate for approval, is aimed at giving public schools the tools to prevent and address bullying through mandatory policies and systems that would help discourage harassment and track incidents when they do occur.
Among its provisions, AB9 would require all California school districts to implement updated anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies and programs that take into account sexual orientation and gender identity as well as race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, disability and religion.
The Assembly also approved another anti-bullying measure Wednesday — AB620 is aimed at curbing harassment on college campuses, and would require public colleges and universities to designate a point person to deal with lLGBT issues on each campus, and adopt and publish policies on harassment and bullying.
Filed under: California