Senator Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) announced that her bill to establish a statewide policy to target the mental health effects of school closures on students unanimously passed the Senate Education Committee today. This important bill would address the unique mental health challenges faced by our children during the government shutdown of K-12 schools over the last year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Specifically, SB 525 would require the California Department of Public Health to work with the California Department of Education to develop a statewide approach to dealing with this mental health crisis in our schools.
“Our children deserve quick action in addressing the long term effects they have felt from school closures due to the Governor’s response to COVID 19,” said Senator Grove. “For over a year, a majority of California children have not been able to attend full time, in-person instruction at our public schools. For the majority of students, their lives changed overnight and for the worse.”
Prioritizing the health and safety of our students should include not only the student’s physical well-being, but also the emotional, psychological, and social well-being. SB 525 ensures the state is doing everything it can to understand the relationship that COVID-19 has had and will continue to have on our student’s mental health.
“Studies continue to show the devastating impact that isolation, physical distancing and remote learning adjustments, along with stressful home environments are having on children” said Senator Grove. “We are still learning to what degree these changes will have for the many students who fall behind.”
SB 525 passed with a bipartisan vote of 7 to 0. The measure will next be heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee.