A new California law mandates that security staff at schools, regardless of whether they are employed full-time or part-time, will have to undergo training.

Senate Bill 390 (SB 390), authored by Senator Thomas J. Umberg (D-Santa Ana), was recently signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom. Currently, school security officials who work less than 20 hours per week are not required to complete training that details areas such as laws and liability, role and responsibilities, school security awareness, conflict resolution, or the dynamics of student behavior. SB 390 would require that all part-time school security officers complete training created by the state on fundamental aspects of their jobs.

“Students face complex and unfortunate challenges every day, such as bullying, gun violence, gangs, and drug abuse. The support provided by school security officers is an integral part of our public school system. They build a relationship of trust with our students, and teach them about personal safety, tolerance, and the importance personal achievement,” said Senator Tom Umberg. “Ultimately, the goal of SB 390 is to fully commit all school safety officers to student safety, by maximizing preparedness and knowledge essential to keeping children safe.”

“One of the main responsibilities of any classified employee is making sure that students have a safe environment in which to learn and grow,” said Ben Valdepeña, President of the California School Employees Association. “We applaud Senator Umberg, the Legislature, and Governor Newsom for providing basic school safety training to all security personnel making staff and student safety a priority.”

Research from the U.S. government states that 16.3% of all public school students in California had been in at least one physical fight in the last year. In 2015, almost 200,000 students were removed from California school campuses after a violent incident. California has also suffered 80 school shootings since the Columbine High School shooting in the 1990s.

The new rules take effect on July 1, 2021.