FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
San Francisco – Gay-Straight Alliance Network and Equality California, leaders in the effort to protect the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act, applaud the California Department of Education (CDE) for issuing an informative and clarifying fact sheet on the new law and its implementation in schools.
“GSA Network has heard from teachers, administrators, parents, and students in local schools across California who are eager for guidance from the state in implementing the FAIR Education Act,” said Laura Valdez, Interim Executive Director of Gay-Straight Alliance Network. “We are grateful to the CDE for answering that need with an FAQ that will help local school districts move forward with following the new law that goes into effect on January 1, 2012.”
“This FAQ should put to rest the lies and misinformation spread by anti-equality extremists working to overturn the FAIR Education Act,” said Roland Palencia, Executive Director of Equality California. “The California Department of Education has made the truth clear: the FAIR Education Act requires schools to integrate factual, age-appropriate information about the history, current events and social movements of LGBT people, people with disabilities and people of color into existing social studies lessons. Everything else is hysterical and unnecessary noise.”
Signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown last month, the FAIR Education Act ensures the fair and accurate portrayal of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights movement and people with disabilities in history and social studies instruction. Anti-equality advocates, including the Capitol Resource Institute and the Family Research Council, a designated hate group, are circulating petitions for a referendum that asks voters to overturn the FAIR Education Act.
“Frequently Asked Questions: Senate Bill 48” is available on the California Department of Education website at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/cr/cf/senatebill48faq.asp.
Equality California is the largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights advocacy organization in California. Over the past decade, Equality California has strategically moved California from a state with extremely limited legal protections for LGBT individuals to a state with some of the most comprehensive civil rights protections in the nation. Equality California has passed more than 70 pieces of legislation and continues to advance equality through legislative advocacy, electoral work, public education and community empowerment. www.eqca.org
Gay-Straight Alliance Network (GSA Network) is a national youth leadership organization that empowers youth activists to fight homophobia and transphobia in schools by training student leaders and supporting student-led Gay-Straight Alliance clubs throughout the country. In California alone, GSA Network has brought GSA clubs to 56% of public high schools, impacting more than 1.1 million students at 850 schools. GSA Network's youth advocates have played a key role in changing laws and policies that impact youth at the local and state level. GSA Network operates the National Association of GSA Networks, which unites more than 30 statewide networks of GSA clubs throughout the country. GSA Network is also the founder of the Make It Better Project, which aims to stop bullying and prevent suicide.