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 Health Committee yesterday. 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.
“The state moved quickly to shut down schools, it must now move just as decisively to address the fallout from that action,” said Senator Grove. “Since March 2020, a majority of California children have not been able to attend in-person instruction at our public schools. For many of these students, their lives changed unexpectedly 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.
“Isolation and physical distancing requirements, remote learning adjustments, and stressful home environments all have resulted in a significant mental health crisis for students,” said Senator Grove. “We do not yet know the full extent of the impact this will have for the many students who fall behind academically as well as emotionally and socially.”
SB 525 passed with a bipartisan vote of 11 to 0. The measure will next be heard by the Senate Education Committee on April 28.