Senator Al Franken (D-Minn) has released a video in support of S. 555, the federal Student Non-Discrimination ACT (SNDA).
Putting a spin on the It Gets Better web series, Sen. Franken says that LGBT students shouldn’t have to wait until they graduate from high school in order to live their lives free from discrimination and harassment. The SNDA would be a vital step in making LGBT school students’ lives better now.
Watch the video below:
The GLSEN’s 2009 National School Climate survey of more than 7,000 LGBT middle and high school students from across the U.S. found that nine out of ten students experienced harassment at school because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and that two-thirds said they felt unsafe in schools.
LGBT youth are also at an increased rick of suicide-linked mental health issues, many of which are in turn linked to bullying and harassment in their daily lives.
The Student Non-Discrimination Act, introduced in the House by Rep. Polis (D-Col.) and in the Senate by Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), would add to existing federal statutes and grant explicit protections against bullying on the grounds of perceived or actual sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.
If schools receiving federal funds failed to adequately combat and track incidents of anti-LGBT bullying, or if school administrators are found to have discriminated against LGBT children, then under the Student Non Discrimination Act their federal funding may be cut.
The legislation currently sits waiting to be taken up by Congress.
Image taken from video, no infringement intended.