Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-06-09
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Safe Schools Act reintroduced in Senate
From a News Release, posted March 8, 2011
2011-03-02

This article shared 3978 times since Wed Mar 2, 2011
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


New York, March 8, 2011 -- GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, stands with a broad coalition of LGBT and youth development organizations in celebrating today's reintroduction of the Safe Schools Improvement Act. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) joined lead cosponsor Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and 17 total cosponsors to introduce for the first time a Senate bill with bipartisan support that specifically addresses bullying and harassment due to actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Safe Schools Improvement Act, which is endorsed by the over 80 members of the GLSEN-led National Safe Schools Partnership, would require schools to implement comprehensive anti-bullying policies that address bullying and harassment and ensure the safety and well-being of all their students. In the last Congress, the Senate and House versions finished the Congress with, respectively, 17 and 131 bipartisan cosponsors. A bipartisan House bill is also expected to be introduced in the coming weeks by Rep. Linda Sanchez.

"Anti-LGBT harassment hurts the children of both Democrats and Republicans, as do all of the forms of bullying and harassment addressed by this important bill," GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard said. "Senators Casey and Kirk show we all share a common vision of schools that keep students safe and focused on learning.

"We are pleased to join our partners in the National Safe Schools Partnership to voice our continuing strong support for the Safe Schools Improvement Act. We thank Senators Casey and Kirk and all the cosponsors for recognizing the need for federal leadership to address a public health crisis affecting youth across the country."

No federal law or policy exists that requires schools to adopt policies to address bullying, and existing state laws vary greatly in their breadth and effectiveness.

Said Sen. Casey: "I am pleased to introduce the Safe Schools Improvement Act to help ensure that every child receives a quality education that builds self-confidence. This bill is a crucial step towards ensuring that no child is so afraid to go to school that he or she stays home for fear of bullying."

Nearly two-thirds of middle and high school students (65%) said they had been bullied in school in the past year, according to From Teasing to Torment: School Climate in America, a 2005 report from GLSEN and Harris Interactive that surveyed more than 3,000 students. Students at schools with a comprehensive anti-bullying policy similar to the one required by the Safe Schools Improvement Act were less likely than other students to report a serious harassment problem at their school (33% vs. 44%).

LGBT students experience bullying and harassment at an even more alarming rate. Nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT students (84.6%) said they've been harassed in the past year because of their sexual orientation and 63.7% because of their gender expression.

HRC & NEA Applaud Senate Reintroduction of Safe Schools Improvement Act

Legislation would mandate that schools adopt policies to meaningfully address bullying and harassment, including LGBT students

WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, and the National Education Association, the nation's largest organization advocating for education professionals, applauded the reintroduction of the Safe Schools Improvement Act (SSIA) in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Robert Casey (D-PA) and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL). SSIA would amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to require schools and districts receiving federal funds to adopt codes of conduct specifically prohibiting bullying and harassment, including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The SSIA would also require that states report data on bullying and harassment to the Department of Education. Additionally, the SSIA would require the Department of Education to provide Congress with a report on the state reported data, along with other specified data, every two years.

"The mental and emotional well-being of too many young people has been put at risk because they were bullied or harassed at school," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "We place our children in grave danger when we fail to adequately help school administrators and teachers create safe learning environments for all students, including those who are actually or perceived to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender."

"Every child has a right to a safe place to learn," said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. "NEA strongly supports the Safe Schools Improvement Act and ridding schools of bullying and harassment. Our children are America's greatest resource. And as educators, we want nothing more than to create a climate of civility and respect for all students, including LGBT students, in every public school."

"I am pleased to introduce the Safe Schools Improvement Act to help ensure that every child receives a quality education that builds self-confidence," said Sen. Casey. "This bill is a crucial step towards ensuring that no child is so afraid to go to school that he or she stays home for fear of bullying."

Bullying and harassment of students who are actually or perceived to be LGBT is widespread. While current federal law provides important support to promote school safety, it does not comprehensively and expressly focus on issues of bullying or harassment, and in no way addresses the challenges faced by LGBT youth in our nation's schools.

According to a 2009 School Climate Survey by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, 8 out of 10 LGBT youth reported being verbally harassed at school because of their sexual orientation; more than 60 percent of LGBT students said they felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation and more than a third of LGBT students felt unsafe because of their gender expression; 40 percent of LGBT students reported being physically harassed in school because of their sexual orientation; and nearly one-third of LGBT students nationwide said they had missed a day of school in the past month because of feeling unsafe. Numerous education, health, law enforcement and youth development organizations support federal legislation to combat bullying and harassment, including the American Association of School Administrators, American Federation of Teachers, American School Health Association, National Association of School Psychologists, National Education Association and National Parent Teacher Association.

The SSIA was first introduced in the Senate during the 111th Congress by Sen. Casey. The House version of the bill was previously introduced by Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA). Additional cosponsors of the current Senate Safe Schools Improvement Act include Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Patty Murray (D-WA), John Kerry (D-MA), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).


This article shared 3978 times since Wed Mar 2, 2011
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Bill would expose schools that discriminate against LGBTQ students 2021-07-29
--From a press release - WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark (MA-5) and Representatives Chris Pappas (NH-1), Sharice Davids (KS-3), and Mondaire Jones (NY-17) introduced the Exposing Discrimination in ...


Gay News

2.9 million LGBTQ adults have federal student loan debt 2021-07-15
--From a press release - LGBTQ adults carry more than $93 billion in debt A new study from the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law conducted in collaboration with the Point Foundation, the nation's largest LGBTQ scholarship fund, finds more ...


Gay News

Goodman Theatre reopens with School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play 2021-07-12
--From a press release - (Chicago, IL) School is back in session! Goodman Theatre returns to the stage with the Chicago-premiere production of the Off-Broadway smash sensation, School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play. Full casting is below. Written by ...


Gay News

WORLD Anti-LGBTQ crimes, conversion therapy, out prime minister, Pakistan school 2021-07-11
- In England, police are treating the painting of a homophobic slur on an LGBTQ Pride mural as a hate crime, the BBC reported. The wall in St Helens, Merseyside, which was painted by volunteers and artists ...


Gay News

CDC: Fully vaccinated students and teachers don't need masks 2021-07-09
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said July 9 that fully vaccinated teachers, students and staff can return back to K-12 schools without wearing masks, Politico reported. On its website, the CDC stated, "Students ...


Gay News

Gov. Pritzker signs legislation, Asian American history to be taught in public schools 2021-07-09
--From a press release - SKOKIE - On July 9, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed HB 376, the Teaching Equitable Asian American History Act, into law, making Illinois the first state in the nation to require a unit of Asian American ...


Gay News

Bienen School of Music launches 'Black Composer Showcase' series 2021-06-28
- The Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University has launched a new series of videos featuring performances of art songs and chamber music by Black composers. The three-part Black Composer Showcase series (consisting of "Chicago Connections," ...


Gay News

1.2 million LGBTQ adults in the U.S. identify as nonbinary 2021-06-22
--From a press release - An estimated 11% of LGBTQ adults in the U.S.—approximately 1.2 million people—identify as nonbinary, according to a new study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. The majority of them are under age 29, ...


Gay News

U.S. Department of Education renews commitment to LGBTQ+ students, NCLR applaudes 2021-06-16
--From a NCLR press release - WASHINGTON, DC — The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) applauds the U.S. Department of Education's renewed commitment to protecting LGBTQ students from discrimination in our nation's schools and universities. ...


Gay News

Elected school-board bill passes Illinois House 2021-06-16
- In a move seen as a bitter defeat for Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the Illinois House sent to Gov. J.B. Pritzker legislation that would shift control of Chicago Public Schools from the mayor to an elected ...


Gay News

Dept. of Education: Title IX also protects LGBTQ students 2021-06-16
- The Department of Education will interpret Title IX—a federal law that protects students from sex-based discrimination in federally funded schools—to protect LGBTQ students from discrimination, according to a federal notice ...


Gay News

476,000 transgender adults in the U.S. have no IDs with the correct gender marker 2021-06-16
--From a press release - An estimated 476,000 transgender adults in the U.S. are without any form of identification with the correct gender marker, according to a new report by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. Michigan has the ...


Gay News

Local lesbian couple talks new band The Q's, love story, other endeavors 2021-06-16
- Singing has been a part of Debra Duncan and Kayla Quiros' lives since they were in high school. Now the married couple and The Q's bandmates have released their debut album, Us Who Know, chronicling their ...


Gay News

Siskel Film Center to reopen Aug. 6 2021-06-16
- After closing its doors March 14, 2020 due to COVID-19, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago's (SAIC) Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St., will reopen for in-person screenings Friday, Aug. 6. With ...


Gay News

Back 2 School Illinois Build-A-Kit event Oct. 22, 2021 at Center on Halsted 2021-06-14
--From a press release - We are excited to announce that after a long COVID delay, we will be holding our Back 2 School Illinois Build-A-Kit Event on Oct. 22, 2021. The day-long event, in partnership with the LGBT Chamber of ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS






Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.