LOS ANGELES - California Governor Gavin Newsom signed three new laws aimed at preventing bullying and suicides as a rash of school bullying incidents have been reported across the state in recent weeks.
Newsom signed Assembly Bill 34 on September 12, which was presented by Assemblyman James Ramos, D-Highland. "The Safe Place to Learn Act" requires school districts to provide easy online access to suicide prevention materials as well as information about cyberbullying.
Existing law requires schools to provide suicide prevention materials that addresses the needs of their highest-risk students in seventh through 12th grades. AB 1767, which will amend Section 215 of the Education Code, will expand those resources to students in kindergarten through sixth-grade.
This law comes as authorities investigate the death of a 10-year-old Santa Ana elementary school student whose death by suicide triggered an investigation to determine if bullying played a role. It also comes after a 13-year-old boy died from injuries sustained during a fight at school, while two other students remained in juvenile hall on charges related to his death.
On October 2, Newsom signed AB 984, which allows taxpayers to send their excess personal income tax payments to a new "Suicide Prevention Voluntary Contribution Fund." The fund would award grants and help fund crisis centers that are active members of the national suicide prevention hotline.