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GLSEN Condemns NC Leaders
Marketing & Communications Associate
GLSEN Condemns North Carolina Leaders for Deepening Their Commitment to Violating Federal Law
WASHINGTON (May 9, 2016) – GLSEN’s Director of Public Policy, Nathan Smith, condemned North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and the state’s legislative leaders for filing suit against the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) after DOJ last week found the state’s discriminatory House Bill 2 to be in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
“The role of the Justice Department is to enforce federal law, and North Carolina leaders have clearly violated three major federal civil rights laws by passing and implementing HB 2. The lawsuit they filed in response to the Justice Department today further illustrates the unprecedented extent to which Gov. McCrory, President Pro Tem Berger and Speaker Moore are willing to go to advance their discriminatory agenda – wasting taxpayer dollars in court battles and playing a game of chicken with the federal government that risks costing the state billions of dollars in federal funds. Civil rights statutes exist to protect our nation’s most vulnerable. In this instance, those who face the gravest threats from the implementation of HB 2 are, unfortunately, North Carolina’s transgender students.
“Contrary to the governor’s claims, the issue of restroom and locker room access for transgender students is not a new one. School districts across the country have been providing such access for years without incident, many under state nondiscrimination laws that protect transgender people.
“Transgender students face many dire challenges, including bullying, harassment, discrimination, and even family rejection. Being a political football shouldn’t be one of them. GLSEN calls on North Carolina’s governor and state legislative leaders to stop further victimizing the state’s transgender students in their attempt to defend an illegal, unnecessary and discriminatory statute. ”
The latest edition of GLSEN’s National School Climate Survey found that LGBT students who experienced discrimination and bullying and harassment at school were more than three times as likely to have missed school in the past month as those who did not, had lower GPAs than their peers, and had lower self-esteem and higher levels of depression. GLSEN has created model laws and policies for schools, districts and states to ensure LGBT students are safe and affirmed at school, including a model district policy for accommodating transgender and gender nonconforming students that complies with Title IX.
GLSEN is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for all students. GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community. For information on GLSEN's research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit www.glsen.org.