Legal Update Memo No. 33-2019 – AB 543 – High Schools Must Create and Post Sexual Harassment Prevention Poster (K-12)

Download pdf: 33-2019 – AB 543 – High Schools Must Create & Post Sexual Harassment Prevention Poster w attachment (CDC)

On October 2, 2019, the Governor approved Assembly Bill (“AB”) 543, which effective January 1, 2020, requires any school district, county office of education, or charter school that serves students in any grades 9th through 12th to develop a poster that notifies students of the sexual harassment prevention policy developed by the Local Educational Agency (“LEA”).[1]

Existing law at Education Code § 231.5 requires all LEAs to display in a “prominent location” its policy/policies on sexual harassment.[2]

LEAs that serve high school students will now, in addition, have to develop a poster[3] in accordance with the following requirements:

  • The poster shall be no smaller than 8.5 by 11 inches and use at least 12-point font;
  • The poster shall be displayed in English and any primary language spoken by 15 percent or more of the pupils enrolled at the schoolsite;
  • The language in the poster shall be age appropriate and culturally relevant, and the schoolsite may partner with local, state, or federal agencies, or nonprofit organizations, for these purposes;
  • The poster shall display, at a minimum, all of the following:
  • The rules and procedures for reporting a charge of sexual harassment;
  • The name, phone number, and email address of an appropriate schoolsite official to contact to report a charge of sexual harassment; and
  • The rights of the reporting pupil, the complainant, and the respondent, and the responsibilities of the schoolsite in accordance with the applicable written policy on sexual harassment.

The poster is required to be displayed prominently and conspicuously in each bathroom and locker room at the schoolsite.  In addition, the LEA, at the discretion of its governing board, may also prominently and conspicuously display the poster in public areas at the schoolsite that are accessible to, and commonly frequented by, pupils, including, but not limited to, classrooms, classroom hallways, gymnasiums, auditoriums, and cafeterias.

For your convenience, a copy of AB 543 is included with this Legal Update.

Please contact our office with questions regarding this Legal Update or any other matter.

Legal Update written by Carl D. Corbin, General Counsel.

The information in this Legal Update is provided as a summary of law and is not intended as legal advice.  Application of the law may vary depending on the particular facts and circumstances at issue.  We, therefore, recommend that you consult legal counsel to advise you on how the law applies to your specific situation.

© 2019 School and College Legal Services of California

All rights reserved.  However, SCLS grants permission to any current SCLS client to use, reproduce, and distribute this Legal Update in its entirety for the client’s own non-commercial purposes.

[1] AB 543 is codified mostly at Education Code § 231.6.

[2] “Prominent location” means that location, or those locations, in the main administrative building or other area where notices regarding the institution’s rules, regulations, procedures, and standards of conduct are posted.

[3] 231.6(b) provides the schoolsite may partner with local, state, or federal agencies, or nonprofit organizations, for purposes of the design and content of the poster.