State Revamps School Safety Plans
Governor Newsom signed a package of bills, which were “double-joined” (a term meaning none could ultimately become law without at least one of the others also becoming law), that make significant changes to comprehensive school safety plans to address a myriad of issues, including opioid overdoses and accommodations for students with disabilities.
SB 10, authored by Senator Dave Cortese (D-Santa Clara), requires school safety plans for schools serving students in grades 7 to 12, including charter schools, to include a protocol for responding to a student’s opioid overdose. The bill further requires the California Department of Education (CDE) to post informational materials on its website regarding opioid overdose prevention, and encourages county offices of education (COEs) to establish working groups on fentanyl education in schools. In authoring the bill, the Senator stated:
Fentanyl was responsible for an astounding one in five youth deaths, ages 15-to-24, in California last year. In one year alone (2019-2020), fentanyl overdoses among youth nearly doubled and we have seen that trend continue to increase. This drug can be found in fake and counterfeit pills that are sold through social media or e- commerce platforms, making them available to youth.
Another set of bills, both authored by Senator Anthony Portantino (D-Pasadena) address school safety plans as they pertain to federal disability laws, and the inclusion in the school safety plan of procedures for responding to reports of dangerous, violent, or unlawful activity that is being conducted at, or threatened to be conducted, at school.
SB 323 specifically requires that comprehensive school safety plans address accommodations related to relevant federal disability laws and requires that the annual evaluation of those plans ensures appropriate adaptations to school safety practices are in place for students with disabilities. The bill further authorizes parents and others to bring a concern about a student’s safety to the principal.
SB 671 modifies comprehensive school safety plans to directly address violent, dangerous, or unlawful activities on school grounds and/or at school-sponsored events. Specifically, the bill requires school district, COE, and charter school safety plans to include procedures to assess and respond to reports of any dangerous, violent, or unlawful activity that is being conducted or threatened to be conducted at the school, at an activity sponsored by the school, or on a school bus serving the school.
These bills take effect January 1, 2024, so schools should plan to include these changes in their school safety plans due March 1, 2024.
Statute of Limitations Removed for Recovery of Damages from Childhood Sexual Assault Starting 2024
Current law as established by AB 218 (Gonzalez, Chapter 861, Statutes of 2019) provides that the statute of limitations in suits for damages arising from childhood sexual assaults is 22 years after the age of majority, or in most cases, 40 years of age. AB 452, authored by Assembly Member Dawn Addis (D-San Luis Obispo) and signed by Governor Newsom, eliminates the statute of limitations for these suits entirely for cases that occur prospectively (after January 1, 2024). According to the author:
For many survivors, disclosing their abuse is a long and painful process. Numerous factors prevent survivors, especially those abused as children, from reporting their abuse… AB 452 ends California’s cruel and arbitrary civil statute of limitations for minors who have experienced sexual abuse and removes barriers that prevent survivors from seeking justice against their abusers and the institutions that concealed or ignored their claims.
This legislation is difficult for school advocates to navigate as, on the one hand, there is a sincere concern for the victims of these horrendous crimes, while on the other hand, the fiscal reality is that the very large settlements in these cases will come out of classroom funding. The bill received widespread support in the Legislature, passing the Senate 36-0, and the Assembly 79-1. Going forward, we expect conversations in the Legislature around exploring something like a victim’s compensation fund for these cases.
Student Work-Based Learning Programs can now Proceed
After changes were made several years ago that made it more difficult for students to participate in work based learning or Workability programs, SB 531 (Ochoa-Bogh, R-San Bernardino) provided much-needed flexibility and clarity for schools and employers engaged in these partnerships. Specifically, SB 531 exempts an entity that partners with an LEA to provide student work experience from the requirement to have a valid criminal background check for all employees if the following conditions are met:
- At least one adult employee in the workplace during the pupil’s work hours, who has direct contact with the pupil and has been designated by the employer as the employee of record who is responsible for the safety of the pupil, has a valid criminal records summary.
- A staff representative of the LEA makes at least one visitation every three weeks to consult with the pupil’s workplace liaison, observe the pupil at the workplace, and check in with the pupil to ensure the pupil’s health, safety, and welfare, including addressing any concerns the pupil has
- The parent or guardian of the pupil has signed a consent form regarding the pupil’s work placement, attesting that the parent or guardian understands the duties assigned to the pupil and the nature of the workplace
SB 531 was an urgency measure, and as such took effect upon signature on October 8.
The Governor signed the following school safety bills:
- AB 391 (Jones-Sawyer) – Child abuse and neglect: nonmandated reporters.
Requires an agency receiving a child abuse or neglect report to ask the reporter to provide specified information in the report, including their name, telephone number, and information that gave rise to the suspicion of child abuse or neglect.
Chapter 434, Statutes of 2023
- AB 1371 (Low) – Unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.
This bill prohibits a person who is 21 years of age or older, and who is convicted of statutory rape with a minor under 16 years of age, from completing community service imposed as a condition of probation at a school or location where children congregate.
Chapter 838, Statutes of 2023
- AB 33 (Bains) – Fentanyl Misuse and Overdose Prevention Task Force.
Establishes, subject to an appropriation by the Legislature, the Fentanyl Misuse and Overdose Prevention Task Force to undertake specified duties relating to fentanyl abuse. Contains an urgency clause to ensure the provisions of this bill take effect immediately.
Chapter 887, Statutes of 2023
- AB 889 (Patterson, Joe) – Pupil safety: parental notification: synthetic drugs.
This bill requires a local educational agency (LEA), county office of education (COE), and charter school to annually inform parents or guardians of the dangers associated with using synthetic drugs and post this information on their respective internet websites.
Chapter 123, Statutes of 2023
- AB 1166 (Bains) – Liability for opioid antagonist administration.
Would provide that a person who, in good faith and not for compensation, renders emergency treatment at the scene of an opioid overdose or suspected opioid overdose by administering an opioid antagonist, as defined, is not liable for civil damages resulting from an act or omission, except as specified. The bill would also provide that a person who furnishes an opioid antagonist for use at the scene of an opioid overdose or suspected opioid overdose is not liable for civil damages resulting from an act or omission, except as specified.
Chapter 97, Statutes of 2023
- SB 10 (Cortese) – Pupil health: opioid overdose prevention and treatment: Melanie’s Law.
This bill requires school safety plans of schools, including charter schools, serving students in grades 7 to 12 to include a protocol for responding to a student’s opioid overdose; requires the California Department of Education (CDE) to post informational materials on its website on opioid overdose prevention; and encourages COEs to establish working groups on fentanyl education in schools.
Chapter 856, Statutes of 2023
- SB 19 (Seyarto) – Fentanyl Misuse and Overdose Prevention Task Force.
This bill establishes, upon an appropriation by the Legislature, the Anti-Fentanyl Abuse Task Force to evaluate the nature and extent of fentanyl abuse in the state and to develop policy recommendations for addressing it.
Chapter 857, Statutes of 2023
- AB 28 (Gabriel) – Firearms and ammunition: excise tax.
Establishes an excise tax on licensed firearms dealers, firearms manufacturers, and ammunition vendors to fund programs that address the causes and harms of gun violence. Specifically, the bill establishes the Gun Violence Prevention and School Safety Fund, and provides that, annually, after the first $75 million of moneys in the funds are allocated, the next $50 million shall, upon appropriation by the legislature, be allocated to the CDE to enhance school safety by addressing risk factors for gun violence affecting pupils.
Chapter 231, Statutes of 2023
- AB 452 (Addis) – Childhood sexual assault: statute of limitations.
Eliminates the time limit for the commencement of actions for recovery of damages suffered as a result of childhood sexual assault for civil actions that arise on or after the date when the bill takes effect.
Chapter 655, Statutes of 2023
- AB 1071 (Hoover) – Teen dating violence prevention education: online information and resources.
This bill requires CDE to post on its website resources on teen dating violence prevention, local and national hotlines and services for youth experiencing teen dating violence, and other relevant sources for parents, guardians, and other caretakers of pupils.
Chapter 65, Statutes of 2023
- AB 1445 (Arambula) – The Neng Thao Drowning Prevention Safety Act.
Authorizes a drowning or injury prevention organization to provide informational materials to a public school, and authorizes, beginning with the 2024-25 school year and upon receipt of the materials, a public school to provide the materials to parents of pupils.
Chapter 370, Statutes of 2023
- AB 1467 (Alanis) – Nevaeh Youth Sports Safety Act.
This bill requires a youth sports organization that elects to offer an athletic program to ensure that by January 1, 2027, its athletes have access to an automated external defibrillator during any official practice or match.
Chapter 24, Statutes of 2023
- SB 323 (Portantino) – Comprehensive school safety plans: individualized safety plans.
This bill requires that comprehensive school safety plans address accommodations related to relevant federal disability laws. The bill also requires that the annual evaluation of those plans ensure that the plans include appropriate adaptations and authorizes parents and others to bring a concern about a student’s safety to the principal.
Chapter 599, Statutes of 2023
- SB 531 (Ochoa Bogh) – Pupil safety: local educational agency contractors: background checks.
This bill exempts an entity that partners with an LEA to provide student work experience from the requirement to have a valid criminal background check for all employees, as specified. This bill is an urgency measure.
Chapter 616, Statutes of 2023
- SB 558 (Rubio) – Civil actions: childhood sexual abuse.
This bill replicates the existing civil statute of limitations applicable to childhood sexual assault claims in a new statute that applies only to those acts of sexual assault that occur before January 1, 2024. It adds violations of specified Penal Code provisions involving childhood sexual abuse material to the definition of childhood sexual assault, but only those occurring before January 1, 2024.
Chapter 877, Statutes of 2023
- SB 671 (Portantino) – School safety plans: dangerous, violent, or unlawful activities.
This bill requires an LEA, COE, and charter school safety plans to include procedures to assess and respond to reports of any dangerous, violent, or unlawful activity that is being conducted or threatened to be conducted at the school, at an activity sponsored by the school, or on a school bus serving the school.
Chapter 626, Statutes of 2023
Capitol Advisors Group has produced a set of comprehensive client briefs detailing new education laws that were passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Newsom in 2023. Each brief is organized by subject area and includes an executive summary highlighting major changes we think you should know about. Bills signed by the Governor take effect on January 1, 2024, unless the bill specifically states otherwise.
- Posted by CCIS
- On December 27, 2023