Fri March 11, 2011

Polis Reintroduces Bullying Measure To Protect LGBT Students

Colorado Congressman Jared Polis has reintroduced legislation aimed at protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students from bullying. It’s a move that caps off a week of state and national discussions about the topic.

State lawmakers took on bullies earlier this week passing legislation out of a House committee that would redefine the term to include cyber attacks. The White House held a conference on the issue Thursday. And Jared Polis – who is gay – says more needs to be done to protect LGBT students who are more likely to be targeted.

“Surveys show that as many as 9 out of 10 LGBT kids have been bullied, 6 out of 10 feel unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation and about a third have skipped a day of school in the past month alone because they have feared for their safety,” Polis said during a press conference Thursday.

The Student Non-Discrimination Act would establish a federal ban of discrimination in public schools based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Something that is not included in current discrimination laws. The legislation has over 90 co-sponsors in the House and Senate. However, a similar bill introduced last year failed to pass.

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