What is Seth’s Law?“Seth’s Law” is a new law that strengthens existing state anti-bullying laws to help protect all California public school students. Seth’s Law requires public schools in California to update their anti-bullying policies and programs, and it focuses on protecting students who are bullied based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity/gender expression, as well as race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, disability, and religion.
Why did the California Legislature pass Seth’s Law?California law says that all public school students should have equal rights and opportunities. Yet many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning students report that they experience significant bullying in California schools. And teachers, administrators, and other staff often fail to address the bullying when they see it. Seth’s Law is named after a 13-year-old California student who tragically took his own life in 2010 after years of anti-gay bullying that his school failed to address.
What does state anti-bullying law require school districts to do?
- Adopt a strong anti-bullying policy that specifically spells out prohibited bases for bullying, including sexual orientation and gender identity/gender expression.
- Adopt a specific process for receiving and investigating complaints of bullying, including a requirement that school personnel intervene if they witness bullying.
- Publicize the anti-bullying policy and complaint process, including posting the policy in all schools and offices.
- Post on the district website materials to support victims of bullying.