Reps. Linda Sánchez and Chris Gibson Introduce Key Anti-Bullying Legislation
Washington, DC- Rep. Linda Sánchez (CA-38) and Rep. Chris Gibson (NY-19) joined the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and 19 Members of Congress to introduce the 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.
“As a mother, my heart breaks every time I see a news report of another child taking their life after being bullied at school. Schools must be a safe place for our children to learn and grow and be protected from bullying,” said Rep. Linda Sánchez. “The Safe Schools Improvement Act will give parents like me some peace of mind to know all our children have an educational environment where they can learn without the threat of harassment. I thank Rep. Chris Gibson, GLSEN, and my colleagues for joining me in standing up for safer schools.”
“Healthy communities require safe learning environments for our young people,” said Congressman Gibson. “I’m proud that New York State has been a leader in anti-bullying education and I’m hopeful that the good work in my home state can be a model for the rest of the country. I want to thank Congresswoman Sanchez for her leadership on this important issue.”
“This legislation is crucial for the thousands of students, a disproportionate number of whom are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT), who face bullying and harassment each year in America’s schools and is a resounding statement of support for LGBT youth across the country,” said Dr. Eliza Byard, GLSEN’s Executive Director. “We thank Reps. Sánchez and Gibson for their ongoing leadership in working to ensure protections against bullying and harassment for LGBT students are added to our broad education landscape. LGBT-inclusive anti-bullying and harassment policies work. Students who attend schools with LGBT-inclusive anti-bullying policies experience lower levels of victimization, have lower rates of absenteeism and higher grade point averages, and report that teachers intervene in bullying incidents more than twice as often.”
The Safe Schools Improvement Act has garnered support from nearly 150 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; and the Anti-Defamation League.
The Safe Schools Improvement Act was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA).
Full List of Original Co-Sponsors:
Reps. Alma Adams (D-NC), Judy Chu (D-CA), Katherine Clark (D-MA), Mike Coffman (R-CO), Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Richard Hanna (R-NY), Mike Honda (D-CA), Pete King (R-NY), Tom McArthur (R-NJ), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Jared Polis (D-CO), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Bobby Scott (D-VA), Mark Takano (D-CA), Paul Tonko (D-NY), Don Young (R-AK)
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.