GLSEN's Policy Department helped to convene a briefing for congressional staff on pending legislation that would directly address anti-LGBT bullying, harassment, and discrimination. The meeting was held on October 14th at the Dirken Senate Office Building. In light of recent tragic deaths of students who suffered from anti-LGBT bullying and harassment, GLSEN has continued to educate Congress about the need to pass federal legislation to protect all students from anti-LGBT bullying, harassment and discrimination.
Dr. Emily Greytak, GLSEN Senior Research Associate, spoke to the gathering of over 80 individuals in attendance, primarily Senate staff, about the prevalence and impact of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in middle and high schools and the pending legislation that can help to address these issues. Dr. Greytak was joined by panelists from the Human Rights Campaign, the National Association of School Psychologists and the American Civil Liberties Union, as well as a DC area student, in urging Congress to pass both the Safe Schools Improvement Act (SSIA) and the Student Nondiscrimination Act (SNDA).
Learn more about SSIA here and about SNDA here.
SSIA and SNDA have different focuses and, if passed, will work together to provide comprehensive protections against bullying, harassment and discrimination to LGBT students. SSIA would require schools to enact policies that prohibit, and spell out the prohibited categories of individuals to be protected from, bullying and harassment (including anti-LGBT bullying and harassment), establish reporting requirements and encourage training of educators. SNDA would ban discrimination against students by educational institutions on the basis of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity and has provisions to also prohibit bullying and harassment.
GLSEN will continue to work with Congress to ensure that both SSIA and SNDA become law so that all students are able to receive a quality education by creating a successful, safe and healthy school environment.
TAKE ACTION NOW TO URGE YOUR MEMBER OF CONGRESS TO SUPPORT SSIA AND SNDA
For more information on SSIA, SNDA or GLSEN's public policy work, contact the Public Policy Department at 202-347-7780 or email@example.com.