September 18, 2018
Advancing Justice-CA Applauds Governor’s Signing of Anti-Bullying Bill
SACRAMENTO, CA – Asian Americans Advancing Justice – California (Advancing Justice-CA), a joint project between Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus and Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, applaud Governor Brown’s signing of Assembly Bill 2291, authored by Assemblymember David Chiu, into law. This bill addresses school bullying and would require local education agencies to develop guidelines to prevent bullying and harassment and make training modules available to school staff across the state, and it is sponsored by Advancing Justice – CA, Advancement Project, CAIR-CA, and Equality CA.
Since the 2016 elections, hateful and inflammatory speech on the national front has increased. Immigrant populations and other vulnerable communities are frequently scapegoated. Studies have shown that this harmful rhetoric trickles down to schools.
“We applaud Governor Brown for signing this important legislation into law,” said Andrew Medina, California Policy Manager at Advancing Justice-CA. “At a time when divisive and harmful political speech is on the rise, it’s vital that every educator in California have the tools they need to prevent this type of vitriol and maintain a safe school environment.”
According to a student survey from 2016 by the Council of American-Islamic Relations, Muslim students reported significantly higher rates of discrimination and bullying compared to other students.
“Every student deserves an opportunity to thrive in a safe learning environment,” said Reshma Shamasunder, Vice President of Program Strategy at Advancing Justice-LA. “However, students are often hesitant to report incidents of harassment in fear that teachers are not properly trained to intervene. AB 2291 will ensure that school staff are given the training and tools they need to address and prevent bullying.”
Every year, school districts lose roughly $276 million due to student absenteeism caused by bullying. AB 2291 builds upon previous legislation that required resources to support students who have already been bullied, but not to prevent bullying.
“This law will ensure that California remains at the forefront of championing safe school environments for immigrant and vulnerable students,” said Aarti Kohli, Executive Director of Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus. “We’re responsible for creating the next generation of leaders, and we must ensure that they understand the meaning of respect.”
ABOUT ASIAN AMERICANS ADVANCING JUSTICE – CALIFORNIA
Advancing Justice – CA is a partnership between Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus (Advancing Justice – ALC) in San Francisco and Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles (Advancing Justice – LA).
ABOUT ASIAN AMERICANS ADVANCING JUSTICE – ASIAN LAW CAUCUS
Advancing Justice – ALC was founded in 1972 as the nation’s first legal and civil rights Asian American organization. Recognizing that social, economic, political and racial inequalities continue to exist in the United States, Advancing Justice – ALC is committed to the pursuit of equality and justice for all sectors of our society, with a specific focus directed toward addressing the needs of low-income, immigrant and underserved Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Visit www.advancingjustice-alc.org.
ABOUT ASIAN AMERICANS ADVANCING JUSTICE – LOS ANGELES
Founded in 1983 as the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Advancing Justice – LA is the largest civil rights organization working in the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities. Through direct services, impact litigation, policy advocacy, leadership development, and capacity building, Advancing Justice – LA focuses on the most vulnerable members of Asian American and NHPI communities while also building a strong voice for civil rights and social justice. Visit www.advancingjustice-la.org.