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GLSEN Statement on SNDA Reintroduction
Media Relations Manager
GLSEN Statement on the Reintroduction of the Student Non-Discrimination Act by Sen. Franken and Rep. Polis
NEW YORK (Feb. 10, 2015) – GLSEN's Executive Director, Dr. Eliza Byard, applauded the reintroduction of the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) in Congress today. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., filed the bill that would protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students from discrimination in the nation’s K-12 public schools by establishing new federal non-discrimination protections modeled after Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The bill is co-sponsored in the House by Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., and Bobby Scott, D-Va.
“No student should ever be treated differently simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Dr. Byard. “This legislation is both straight forward and sorely needed. The federal government has a responsibility to protect students from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, just as it does based on race and religion.
“We will continue to work closely with Senator Franken and Representative Polis to support SNDA, as we have in the past. We thank them for their ongoing leadership and look forward to working with them and their colleagues in Congress to ensure that LGBT students nationwide have access to a quality education, free from discrimination.”
The latest edition of GLSEN’s National School Climate Survey recently found that while school climate has improved somewhat since 1999, schools nationwide remain hostile environments for a distressing number of LGBT students and that discrimination affects students’ academic success and mental health. LGBT students who experienced discrimination 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 is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for all students. Celebrating its 25th year, 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.