"Every day innocent students fall victim to relentless harassment and discrimination from teachers, staff, and fellow students based on their sexual orientation. These actions not only hurt our students and our schools but, left unchecked, can also lead to life-threatening violence. -- Representative Jared Polis (D-Col 2) on introducing this legislation.
Under the federal Student Non-Discrimination Act, no school program that receives public funding would be allowed to exclude children because of their gender identity or sexual orientation, giving gender identity and sexual orientation the same status as the currently protected classes of race, color, sex, religion, disability and national origin.
- Considers harassment to be a form of discrimination.
- Prohibits retaliation against anyone for opposing conduct they reasonably believe to be unlawful under this Act.
- Authorizes federal departments and agencies to enforce these prohibitions by cutting off the educational assistance of recipients found to be violating them.
- Allows an aggrieved individual to assert a violation of this Act in a judicial proceeding and recover reasonable attorney's fees should they prevail.
- Deems a state's receipt of federal educational assistance for a program to constitute a waiver of sovereign immunity for conduct prohibited under this Act regarding such program.
Take a stand against anti-LGBT harassment in our schools today. Urge your representative to support the Student Non-Discrimination Act.
You may be aware that Representative Jared Polis (D-Col) recently introduced the Student Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 4530) that, since February 23, has been referred to the Subcommittee on Higher Education, Lifelong Learning, and Competitiveness.
Under the federal Student Non-Discrimination Act, no school program that receives public funding would be allowed to exclude children because of their gender identity or sexual orientation, therein giving them the same status as the currently protected classes of race, color, sex, religion, disability and national origin.
Recognizing the support of some 73 co-sponsors, including Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA 4), and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY 8), we the undersigned would like to urge you to also support the federal Student Non-Discrimination Act in order to protect vulnerable LGBT students.
For too long, we have not held schools accountable for how they treat LGBT students on the basis of their sexuality or gender identity, and have allowed many cases of inequality to go unchallenged. The Student Non-Discrimination Act would prevent such acts of inequality being sanctioned with the use of public funds and as such will give public schools firm guidelines over what is and what isn't acceptable.
We thank you for taking action on this matter and for seriously considering the welfare of America's LGBT youth. Thank you.