On October 9, 2011, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 9, also known as “Seth’s Law”— a new law that will help pro-tect all students from bullying at school by fur-ther strengthening California’s already existing applicable laws. It will ensure that schools in California implement updated anti-bullying, anti-discrimination policies and programs that include actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, as well as race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, disability, and religion. These changes will help create a respectful and safe environment for all students.
Civil liberties organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), work to keep schools and school districts accountable to this law and preexisting laws that protect the rights of LGBTQ students. Through the LGBTQ Student Rights Project, the ACLU helps implement Seth’s Law by making school envi-ronments safer for all students. The mission of the project is to stop the unlawful bullying and harassment in California schools and to create school communities that promote safety and respect for all students.
Seth’s Law is revolutionary for California because it will tighten anti-bullying policies in California schools by ensuring that all schools have clear and consistent policies, require in-tervention from teachers and clearer guide-lines for administrators, and establishing shorter timelines for investigating claims of bullying.
Q: Who can file a complaint?
A: Any student who experiences discrimination or harassment may do so or someone else, like another student, parent, or interested third party or organization, may file a complaint
Q: Is there a specific form to file a complaint?
A: Yes, you should use the one your school district has or the sample Uniform Complaint Form available at https://www.aclusocal.org/en/uniform-complaint-form. You can also call or email the project below.
Q: Is there a difference between the Uniform Complaint Form and the Williams Complaint Form?
A: Yes, the Williams Form is specifically for the right to a clean school, to have a book to use in class and at home, and to have a qualified teacher. The Uniform Complaint Form is for reporting incidents of harassment or discrimination, including bullying.
Q: Should I make and keep a copy of my complaint?
A: Yes, you should always make and keep a copy of all of your complaints. If you need any help with writing or following up on a complaint you filed, please contact us.
Q: Who can I contact if I want more information or would like help filing a complaint or an appeal?
A: Email LGBTQ-SRP@aclu-sc.org or call the LGBTQ Student Rights Project Hotline at 1-213-977-5251.
This publication is for educational purposes only; it is not intended as, and is not a substitute for, legal advice.