California Democrats on Monday passed a bill to require public middle and high school teachers to undergo annual training on issues such as how to identify kids whose parents may not accept their new gender identities and why gender-confused kids should be able to use opposite-sex locker rooms and bathrooms.
The legislation would make mandatory a state-commissioned course already being written by Los Angeles County’s education agency and under the advisory auspices of powerful nonprofits that have been at the forefront in pushing gender ideology in schools, including the Equality California Institute, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, and The Trevor Project. The bill now heads to Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk.
The training would further entrench in California schools some core tenets of gender ideology that some experts say are potentially harmful. It comes as a handful of school districts in the state have rejected California’s guidance that teachers and administrators should help kids adopt a different gender identity behind their parents’ backs.
“Safe and supportive learning environments” should identify “LGBTQ+ youth who are subject to, or may be at risk of, bullying and lack of acceptance at home or in their communities,” according to the bill text. Teachers are instructed to give those individuals “targeted support services” such as counseling, and maintaining their privacy—the state’s rationale for advising schools to transition kids to a new identity without telling their parents.
The bill dovetails with a separate proposal, also on Newsom’s desk, that would require schools to adopt curriculum promoting gender ideology, said Nicole Pearson, a Southern California lawyer who advocated against the bill.
“One hits the schools and the books, and the other hits the teachers,” Pearson said. “It trains them how to speak to students and families, use the curriculum that will be mandated by the state, and how to support gender transition plans.”
The training itself was commissioned by the legislature in 2019 as part of Equality California’s “Safe and Supportive Schools” project. The state has already earmarked $2.4 million for the training, and an additional $7.8 million per year to educate teachers, according to a legislative analysis.