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White House Endorses Student Non Discrimination Act

White House Endorses Student Non Discrimination Act

 

The White House on Friday officially endorsed the Student Non Discrimination Act and the Safe Schools Improvement Act.

The endorsement was made by Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President. Reports the Advocate:

“The President and his Administration have taken many steps to address the issue of bullying,” according to the White House’s official statement. “He is proud to support the Student Non-Discrimination Act, introduced by Senator [Al] Franken and Congressman [Jared] Polis, and the Safe Schools Improvement Act, introduced by Senator [Bob] Casey and Congresswoman Linda Sanchez. These bills will help ensure that all students are safe and healthy and can learn in environments free from discrimination, bullying, and harassment.”

The legislation, introduced by Senator Al Franken (D-Minn), would serve to help protect all children from bullying in schools but would also specifically enumerate sexual orientation and gender identity, making it illegal for schools to discriminate against LGBT kids. It would also mandate that schools actively work to combat and deal with anti-LGBT bullying.

Said Senator Franken of the White House’s endorsement:

“There’s a lot of talk right now about the need for a law to protect our children from anti-gay bullying and discrimination. My Student Non-Discrimination Act would protect LGBT children from bullying in the same way that children are already protected from bullying because of their race, gender, disability, and religion. With today’s endorsement from the White House and 37 cosponsors in the Senate, we’re that much closer to getting a law in place that will protect our children.”

The Obama administration’s endorsement was also praised by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network’s executive director Eliza Byard:

“Today’s announcement is a vital show of support to students everywhere of all identities, backgrounds, and beliefs who face bullying and harassment in school.”

The ACLU has also lauded the president’s support. Said Ian Thompson, ACLU legislative representative, in a statement:

“Having the White House stand behind the Student Non-Discrimination Act is key to getting this necessary legislation passed into law. Our public schools should be a safe harbor for our youth, not a place of exclusion and ridicule. By passing the Student Non-Discrimination Act, Congress can have a profound and very real impact in improving the lives of LGBT students. It’s time to make passage of this bill a priority.”

While both the Student Non Discrimination Act and the Safe Schools Improvement Act have garnered bipartisan support, the legislation has so far failed to garner enough Republican backing to pass.

Related Reading:

Bullied Gay Iowa Teen Committed Suicide After Alleged Death Threats

Obama Won’t Sign LGBT Discrimination Ban Any Time Soon

Megan Mullally & Nick Offerman Support Marriage Equality

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Image used under the MorgueFile user license with thanks to anitapatterson.

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41 comments

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8:14PM PDT on Apr 30, 2012

There are already laws on the books regarding equal treatment and such. Smells like a campaign booster to me ...

12:46PM PDT on Apr 27, 2012

GOOD FOR AL FRANKEN!!

2:55AM PDT on Apr 27, 2012

Good news.

11:20AM PDT on Apr 25, 2012

Glad to see the White House standing up for this cause!

11:09AM PDT on Apr 25, 2012

I am glad to see the White House take a stand against
bullying. I cannot understand how any person can be
against protecting our youth from discrimination
and humiliation.

9:06AM PDT on Apr 25, 2012

Rob D.-Because it is not enough, we have young people, particularly gay and homosexual ones, being harrassed and bullied so badly that they are committing suicide. Why would anyone have a problem with stopping bullying?

9:01AM PDT on Apr 25, 2012

We already have laws that protect everyone from discrimination. Why not just enforce our existing laws? Looks like some campaigning here. How about fixing the economy and helping people get back to work, and reducing our energy costs? Equal Protection is the law already! Why waste time on more laws that just duplicate what already exists? Let's get to some real issues and stop passing laws that specifically benefit a very small group of misfits?

4:05AM PDT on Apr 25, 2012

In my last posted comment I misspelled Senator Brown's first name, it is Sherrod and he is a cosponsor of the bill. Should you want to see if your senator is a cosponser go to this site: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/s555. and click "show cosponsor".

3:40AM PDT on Apr 25, 2012

Good news and if I am not mistaken my Senator Brown from Ohio is a cosponsor. Thanks for the article Steve.

11:56PM PDT on Apr 24, 2012

Glad to see the US government standing up for this cause!

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