Linda Sánchez and John Katko Introduce Bipartisan Anti-Bullying Legislation
Washington, DC – Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-CA) and Rep. John Katko (R-NY) today along with the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and the Human Rights Campaign, introduced Safe Schools Improvement Act. The legislation would require school districts to adopt codes of conduct specifically prohibiting bullying and harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and religion. Reps. Mark Pocan (D-WI), Don Young (R-AK), Katie Porter (D-CA), and Peter King (R-NY) joined as original co-sponsors of the legislation.
Rep. Linda Sánchez: “No parent wants their child to be bullied at school. Schools must be a safe place for our children to learn and grow and be protected from bullying. The Safe Schools Improvement Act will give parents like me peace of mind to know all our children have an educational environment where they can learn without fear of harassment. I thank Rep. John Katko, Human Rights Campaign, GLSEN, and my colleagues for joining me in standing up for safer schools.”
Rep. John Katko: “Bullying of any kind has no place in our schools. I am proud to join Congresswoman Sánchez in introducing the Safe Schools Improvement Act of 2019, which supports the adoption of sensible anti-bullying policies on a nationwide scale. Every child in the United States should have access to a supportive learning environment, and I hope my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will join this effort to make our schools safer for all students.”
“LGBTQ students report high rates of bullying and harassment at school and we need to take the steps necessary to prevent that. As a former public-school teacher, I believe schools should be safe spaces where all students can learn and be their authentic selves. The Safe School Improvement Act will help equip schools and educators with the proper resources they need to support LGBTQ students and combat discrimination.” - Rep. Mark Takano, LGBT Equality Caucus Co-Chair
“Bullying and harassment is a resurgent problem in our schools, made all the more dangerous by the current political climate. The Safe Schools Improvement Act is designed to respond to this problem by ensuring that schools adopt enumerated anti-bullying and harassment policies designed to protect our nation’s most vulnerable students, including LGBTQ youth. GLSEN is proud to partner with Congresswoman Sánchez, and commends her continued leadership on this critical school climate issue.” - GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard.
The Safe Schools Improvement Act has garnered support from nearly 100 organizations, including the National PTA; the American Federation of Teachers; the American Library Association; Big Brothers Big Sisters of America; the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network; the Human Rights Campaign; the National Council of La Raza; the Anti-Defamation League; and the American Unity Fund.
Since coming to Congress, Congresswoman Sánchez has been recognized as a leader in working to make schools safe for all students. The Safe Schools Improvement Act was first introduced in the 110th Congress.