SB524 is a California State Senate Bill that was passed in 2016. On the surface, this looks like a positive bill that is intended to ensure safe environments for children. However, when you look more closely, you will see that the bill is so broad and vaguely defined, that it has much more far reaching repercussions than it implies.
The new amendments that SB524 creates in California Health & Safety Code CCR § 1502 will force all boarding schools in California to be licensed by Community Care Licensing. This will set a precedent to restrict all religious schools from teaching their beliefs to students and will further violate parental rights.
These new regulations state that any residential school that provides “behavior based services” is a group home and under the authority of Community Care Licencing. The problem is that the term “behavior based services” is not in any way defined. Is providing a structured environment a behavioral based service? Is giving detention? What about a class about how to live based on Biblical principles? This lack of definition gives CCLD carte blanche to claim almost anything is a behavior based service and force any boarding school into CCLD’s licencing structure. This is only the beginning of what will inevitably affect all private schools (residential AND standard day schools) in California and eventually, across the country.
Additionally, this bill impacts any faith based agency or organization that attempts to care for children and will preclude them from doing so as a faith-based organization. As Christians, or any person of faith, we need to take a stand that it is unacceptable for the state to have sole authority over the care (and soon education) of children.
Please help support us in our fight against this injustice.
Please contact your church, school, local government officials and express your concern over this abuse of power. And please consider donating.