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GLSEN Responds to NC Gov. Signing HB 2
Media Relations Manager
GLSEN Responds to North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory’s Signing of Harmful HB 2
NEW YORK (March 24, 2016) – GLSEN Executive Director Dr. Eliza Byard expressed outrage over North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory’s signing of HB 2 last night, which was passed by the North Carolina General Assembly in a special session yesterday. The sweepingly discriminatory law overrides local nondiscrimination ordinances statewide, including one recently passed in Charlotte, and prevents local labor laws from setting minimum wages, employee benefits and certain work conditions, making it the most extreme legislation of its kind in the country.
The bill also requires transgender and gender nonconforming students to use the restrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender assigned at birth, even if that conflicts with their gender identity. North Carolina is the first state to enact such a law after South Dakota’s governor vetoed similar schools-related legislation earlier this month and Tennessee’s House Education Committee halted the progress of a similar schools-related bill earlier this week.
"With last night's actions, Governor Pat McCrory and the North Carolina legislature have demonstrated that discriminating against some of their state's most vulnerable residents is among their top legislative priorities. Their actions strike a blow to the health and wellbeing of students and educators across the state. Transgender students now face the personal violence of being forced to use the wrong bathroom, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students are on notice that their elected officials have no interest in defending them against the discrimination they face daily. In that context, the Governor's references to 'etiquette' and 'decorum' are a cruel, perverse and ignorant joke.
With an education system that is woefully underfunded, segregated and lacking necessary resources, North Carolina’s General Assembly and Governor are more concerned with wasting taxpayer dollars and demonizing transgender students than addressing the consistently worsening condition of North Carolina schools. Last year, three times as many educators left North Carolina to teach in other states than in 2010, and we expect that number will increase after this bill. We can only hope that the legal action, backlash from businesses and societal condemnation that Governor McCrory and North Carolina will now face bring justice to the North Carolina residents they have abandoned.”
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.