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Know Your Rights

Printable version of this page Summary of Student Rights in California

page updated January 2022

Right to Be Safe at School

  • School districts are required to publicize clear non-discrimination and harassment policies and have a easily accessible bullying/harassment reporting system

  • All students are protected against discrimination and harassment based on race, color, ancestry, national origin, ethnic group identification, immigration status, age, religion, marital or parental status, pregnancy status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, or genetic information; the perception of one or more of these characteristics; or association with a person or group with one or more of these characteristics

  • Any student, staff, or family member has the right to get help from a principal and report bullying/harassment and/or make a Uniform Complaint or Title IX Complaint 

  • Students who are transgender and/or nonbinary must be supported to be known as and referred to by their asserted name and pronouns in alignment with their gender identity; Honest mistakes may happen but repeated refusal to use the student’s asserted name/pronouns is considered harassment

Right to Inclusive Educational Programs and Programs

  • Contributions of LGBT Americans, persons with disabilities, and members of other ethnic and cultural groups must be included in our curriculum (FAIR Act, 2011) 

  • Comprehensive sexuality education must be inclusive of LGBTQIA+ people and families; It must be medically accurate and include HIV prevention; The law requires a comprehensive sexuality education unit (10-13 days minimum) to be taught once in middle school and once in high school

  • Sex ed is different from anti-bias training; Parents may not opt-out of anti-bias training

Right to Minor Consent to Confidential Medical Services

  • Any student who is age 12 and older can leave campus or go to the school health center (confidentially, without parent knowledge/consent) to access confidential medical services

  • Confidential medical services include mental health services with approved mental health clinicians defined by law and reproductive health services to prevent, diagnose and treat sexually transmitted diseases

  • This is considered an excused absence; the student must be allowed to make up work; no parent contact; attendance office and staff ensure confidentiality

Right to Equal Access to Gender-Segregated Programs (Transgender and/or Nonbinary Students) AB 1266 FAQ

  • Transgender and/or nonbinary students have the right to be referred to by their asserted name and pronouns

  • They have the right to access facilities and programs in alignment with their gender identity; This includes gender-segregated bathrooms, locker rooms, local and competitive sports teams, and programs

  • Non-binary/gender-fluid students shall be included in gender-segregated facilities and programs that the student says is most aligned with their gender identity

  • Accommodations will be offered, but they will not be forced to use them

Right to Confidentiality and Privacy

  • If a student shares about their sexual orientation or gender identity to a staff member, the staff member should not discuss that disclosure with the student’s parent unless the student has given permission 

  • The staff member should not discuss the student’s sexual orientation or gender identity or any accommodations with other students and their parents, or other staff who do not need to know who do not have direct contact with the student or student information

  • A student’s simple assertion of their gender identity is reason enough to support transition of name, pronoun and program participation at school; A student should never be asked about their private body parts