Monday, the Albuquerque chapter
of GLSEN joined with more than 150 students and advocates to lobby New Mexico legislators on Equality Day to pass SB393, safe schools legislation that protects and affirms all students, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students.
“While New Mexico has an existing bullying prevention law already in place, it does not comply with federal and state laws and many schools have not developed policies and made them publicly available as required,” said GLSEN Albuquerque co-chair Erin Northern. “SB393 would address these issues, while also explicitly protecting students on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression, which is a crucial part of creating safe and affirming schools for all students.”
According to GLSEN’s most recent National School Climate Survey
, 85 percent of LGBT students were verbally harassed in the past year and 69 percent felt unsafe. LGBT students who experienced higher levels of victimization because of their sexual orientation or gender expression were more than three times as likely to have missed school in the past month and had lower GPAs. However, LGBT students in schools with a comprehensive anti-bullying policy were less likely to hear homophobic remarks and negative remarks about gender expression.
SB393 was introduced on January 23, 2015, by Sen. William Soules D-Las Cruces, and is currently assigned to the Senate Education Committee.
GLSEN Albuquerque participated in the annual lobbying day as part of the New Mexico Safe School Initiative, led by Equality New Mexico, Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico, Santa Fe Mountain Center and Southwest Women’s Law Center. Read more in this story by KRWG