For National GSA Day, we asked you to call your Senator in support of the Student Non-Discrimination Act, an important bill that will give LGBT students the federal right to be free from discrimination, harassment and bullying based on a student's actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Today, we joined 70 other national and statewide organizations to take that message to the President.
Read an excerpt of the letter below, and join us in advocating for this much-needed bill by calling your Senator again today!
“We recognize and appreciate the leadership that your administration, particularly the Departments of Education and Justice, has demonstrated in efforts to protect students from harassment in schools. The White House Conference on Bullying Prevention in March and the first-ever Federal LGBT Youth Summit in June helped bring critically important attention to the devastating discrimination and harassment that LGBT students often experience in our nation’s public schools. We view an endorsement of the Student Non-Discrimination Act as the next important step the administration should take in the ongoing federal effort to ensure that all students have access to an education unhindered by discrimination and harassment.
There is overwhelming evidence establishing a compelling need for action at the federal level to protect LGBT students from discrimination and harassment in schools. A 2009 study of more than 7,000 LGBT middle and high school students across the U.S. found that nine out of ten reported experiencing harassment at their school within the past year based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, and two-thirds said they felt unsafe at school because of who they are. Nearly one-third skipped at least one day of school within the previous month because of concerns for their safety. Most tragically, LGBT youth face significantly increased risks for suicide related to mental health issues that often arise from poor treatment and discrimination in schools. It is critical that the federal government and schools act to address this very serious problem facing LGBT youth. “