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The passage of New Mexico’s Safe Schools
GLSEN commends the passage of New Mexico’s Safe Schools for All Students Act
Senate Bill 288 will decrease bullying and increase safety for LGBTQ students in New Mexico
NEW YORK, NY (March 15, 2019) – GLSEN, the leading education organization working to create safe and inclusive schools for LGBTQ students and the GLSEN Albuquerque Chapter commended the passage of Senate Bill 288, the Safe Schools for All Students Act, a comprehensive anti-bullying law that is inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity.
“All students deserve to feel safe at school, and today the New Mexico state legislature took a tremendous step forward in ensuring that all students -- regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity -- are protected from bullying and harassment,” said Havens Levitt, Chair of GLSEN Albuquerque.
LGBTQ students in New Mexico face hostile school environments, and most schools don’t currently have supports in place to protect them. According to GLSEN’s 2017 National School Climate Survey New Mexico state-level data, 67% of LGBTQ students experienced verbal harassment at school based on sexual orientation, and 56% experienced verbal harassment at school based on gender expression. Further, 80% of LGBTQ students reported regularly hearing homophobic remarks in school, and 65% reported regularly hearing negative remarks about transgender people.
Additionally, many LGBTQ students in New Mexico did not have access to in-school resources and supports. Only 9% of LGBTQ students attended a school with a comprehensive anti-bullying/harassment policy that included specific protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.
“After Governor Lujan Grisham signs The Safe Schools for All Students Act, New Mexico will become the 19th state, along with Washington DC, to have comprehensive anti-bullying laws that are inclusive of LGBTQ students,” said Brenda Barron, Director of Policy GLSEN. “GLSEN’s research has shown that students who attend schools with comprehensive anti-bullying policies experience lower levels of victimization related to their sexual orientation and gender expression, and we commend the New Mexico legislature for being on the side of safety and support for LGBTQ-students.”
GLSEN's latest policy resource, Respect for All: Policy Recommendations to Support LGBTQ Students A Guide for District and School Leaders, provides education policymakers and practitioners with concrete recommendations related to creating safe and affirming learning environments that uphold the dignity of all students, including comprehensive and enumerated anti-bullying legislation like New Mexico’s Safe Schools for All Students Act.
Havens Levitt, Chair, GLSEN Albuquerque
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GLSEN works to create safe and inclusive schools for all. We envision a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression. Each year, GLSEN programs and resources reach millions of students and educators in K-12 schools, via action at the national, state, and local level. Over nearly three decades of work, GLSEN has improved conditions for LGBTQ students across the United States and launched an international movement to address LGBTQ issues in education and promote respect for all in schools. Find more information on GLSEN’s policy advocacy, student leadership initiatives, school-based programs, research, and professional development for educators at www.glsen.org.