Assemblymember Lara Joins 200 Youth in Support of Teen Dating Violence Prevention Bill

March 06, 2012

AB 1880 aims to prevent, identify and respond to teen dating violence in schools

Sacramento - Assemblymember Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) joined more than 200 youth today on the west steps of the State Capitol, speaking in support of AB 1880, a teen dating violence prevention measure. AB 1880 seeks to reduce dating abuse in middle schools and high schools by incorporating school safety plans and training offered to school districts.

“My community was shaken to its core by the tragic death of Cindi Santana at Southeast High School. As much as I wish I could say that what took place in my district was an anomaly, I know that it is not. If we shine a light on teen dating violence, if we equip young people with the skills to have healthy relationships and if we get our schools involved, we can prevent future tragedies from occurring,” said Assemblymember Lara.

One in four adolescents reports verbal, emotional, physical or sexual dating violence each year. Fifteen to forty percent of youth report perpetrating violence toward a dating partner. Dating abuse is associated with a host of adverse outcomes, including truancy, use of alcohol and drugs, eating disorders, depression and suicide. A substantial number of incidents occur on campus, threatening the safety of students and staff, distracting students from learning, and compromising the school climate.

While California has taken some steps to strengthen school responses to peer-to-peer bullying, the Education Code has a serious gap when it comes to dating abuse: it does not define dating abuse, require schools to prohibit it, or ensure that schools have dating abuse policies in place. AB 1880 will ensure that schools are informed about dating abuse and have policies in place to prevent, recognize, intervene, and respond.

Assemblymember Lara's website:

Below are links to audio from Assemblymember Lara:

Assemblymember Ricardo Lara's remarks at today's news conference. (1:41)

Assemblymember Lara explains why he introduced AB 1880. (:45)

Assemblymember Lara says teachers and counselors need to be able to identify teen dating violence to avoid future tragedies. (:12)

Assemblymember Lara says the school system is only a back-up to what parents should be doing. (:10)

For more information on the latest news from the Assembly Democratic Caucus click here or call Don Andrews at the Speaker's Office of Member Services at (916) 319-3800.

CONTACT: Julia Juarez, (323) 839-2091