Equality California Institute’s Safe and Supportive Schools Report Card shines a light on some of the successes and challenges that California unified school districts said they are experiencing when implementing LGBTQ-inclusive programs and policies. The data informing the Report Card was gathered through Equality California Institute’s inaugural Safe and Supportive Schools Survey, which was distributed to all 343 unified school districts throughout the state.
For two decades, Equality California has worked to sponsor and pass pro-equality state legislation in Sacramento. Many of the bills that Equality California has successfully sponsored and passed into law include protections for LGBTQ students and require programs aimed at making California schools safer and more supportive. But our work does not end at the Capitol. Laws must be implemented in order to be effective, and we must meet more than the basic legal requirements to achieve schools that are safe and supportive and that give every student — regardless of background, zip code, sexual orientation or gender identity — a shot at success.
We created the Safe and Supportive Schools Survey in 2017 to help us measure whether or not California unified school districts have these concrete policies in place. While certain districts reported that they have made great strides, other districts reported that much work remains to be done in their schools.
In the Safe and Supportive Schools Report Card, we strived to produce a resource that is both fair and meaningful — a resource that not only illuminates gaps but that also highlights progress. The Report Card is an educational resource and one that we hope you — students, parents, teachers, advocates, community leaders and school district officials — will use to help improve school climate for LGBTQ students across California.
This report would not have been possible without the support, engagement, and advice of many people: See a full list of acknowledgements here.