By Michael Hernandez
SACRAMENTO—Governor Gavin Newsom has approved AB 493 which requires mandatory LGBTQ teacher training for secondary teachers (seventh grade and up) every two years starting July 1, 2021 despite the fact that similar legislation had not been approved by former Governor Jerry Brown in September, 2018.
AB 493 requires schools to do all of the following:
- Peer support or affinity clubs and organizations.
- Safe spaces for LGBTQ pupils.
- School staff who have received anti-bias or other training aimed at supporting LGBTQ youth.
- Health and other curriculum materials that are inclusive of, and relevant to, LGBTQ youth.
- Policies relating to use of school facilities, including, but not limited to, bathrooms and locker rooms.
- Policies and procedures to protect the privacy of LGBTQ pupils.
AB 493 would also provide community resources (by inviting):
- Local community-based organizations that provide support to LGBTQ youth.
- Local physical and mental health providers with experience in treating and supporting LGBTQ youth.
Opponents of AB 493 state this new bill “promotes misleading medical information” that does not mention the risks of certain sexual acts nor the risks of transgender transitioning and “denies the right of teachers to inform kids” and will result in punitive actions against teachers that do not affirm LGBTQ students.
(Editor’s Note: To view Informed Parents of California video by a 32-year retired teacher go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5W7pOJfYQ8.)
Raechel Olson, a 20-year elementary school teacher, testified in July before the Senate Education Committee and stated that during her training, “I was told to use preferred pronouns to address students” and “to stop referring to students by their biological genders as boys and girls, and to teach sexual orientation and various gender identifies.”
All of those requirements, “coerce” teachers and students to accept and express ideas about gender and gender identity that violate people’s conscience, especially those who believe in objective biology over subjective feelings. “Biology is not bigotry.”
Government “may not compel individuals to express ideas or thoughts with which they disagree.” Yet the pro-LGBTQ training is doing exactly that. “Tolerance is a two-way street.”
Dr. Laura Haynes, a licensed psychologist, warned the Senate Education Committee in July that encouraging children to question gender would increase the suicide rate of transgender people that is 19 times higher than the general public.
Both Olson and Haynes were not asked any questions but were immediately dismissed by State Senator Connie Leyva (D-20th, Chino), the Senate Education Committee chair.
After the two witnesses walked away, Leyva called them “quite offensive” and disclosed she has a lesbian daughter.
Michael Hernandez, Co-Founder of the Citizens Journal—Ventura County’s online news service, editor of the History Makers Report and founder of History Makers International—a community nonprofit serving youth and families in Ventura County, is a former Southern California daily newspaper journalist and religion and news editor. He has worked 25 years as a middle school teacher. Mr. Hernandez can be contacted by email at [email protected].