Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur Introduces Bill to Support and Protect LGBTQ Students
On his first day in office, Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur got to work on behalf of a community he has spent his entire career advocating for. Zbur introduced the Safe and Supportive Schools Act, or AB 5, to equip teachers and staff with tools and training to support LGBTQ+ students.
“The bill will specify a timeline for implementation by all California schools of LGBTQ+ cultural competency training for teachers and certificated staff currently under development by the California Department of Education,” according to Zbur’s office. “This is the result of a budget proposal advanced by Equality California and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and approved in 2021 by the Legislature and Governor Newsom in AB 130 and SB 129. AB 5 is sponsored by Equality California.”
"Every student deserves a safe and supportive learning environment," Zbur remarked. "Improving our schools is a key part of the strategy we need to reduce the high dropout rates that lead to a cycle of homelessness, poverty and health & wellbeing disparities experienced by the LGBTQ+ community. Our teachers and school staff want to support their students, and this bill will better equip them to help LGBTQ+ and all students reach their highest potential.”
Zbur is the former Executive Director of Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization. As an openly gay man, he joins what is proportionally the most openly LGBTQ+ state legislature in U.S. history. More than 10% of incoming California legislators are openly gay.