We've experienced several tragic suicides of middle-school aged children -- each provoked by anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) bullying and harassment.
These heartbreaking student suicides are a chilling reminder to all of us that we need to stand up and take action to prevent the perpetuation of soul crushing anti-LGBT behavior that is claiming young lives.
Passing the Safe Schools Improvement Act (H.R. 2262) would mark a pivotal turning point in the crucial fight for safer schools. It would establish -- for the first time in our nation's history -- a federal mandate for schools to adopt anti-bullying policies that include the categories of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. This act would ensure that schools no longer get a "pass" when they turn a blind eye to anti-LGBT behavior, and it would require them to address all forms of bullying.
Take a stand today. Urge your representative to support the Safe Schools Improvement Act today.
Last month the Safe Schools Improvement Act (H.R. 2262) was introduced and referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor. It is my hope that you will do the right thing and support this essential piece of legislation that will help make schools safer for all students regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.
H.R. 2262 would require schools that receive Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act funding to implement comprehensive anti-bullying policies that enumerate categories often targeted by bullies, including race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression and others.
Up until this point we have failed our students and young people by allowing anti-LGBT bullying to go unfettered and unchecked. The most recent result of our negligence to respond collectively and proactively to this endemic problem has been the loss of two young lives this past April. Within just two weeks this spring, Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover of Springfield, MA, and Jaheem Herrera of DeKalb, GA, returned from school with broken spirits and hanged themselves following relentless bullying and anti-LGBT taunts. These were just the reported cases -- thousands more suffer silently.
I commend Representatives Linda Sanchez (CA-39), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-18) and Carolyn McCarthy (NY-4) for introducing this vital bill and those who valiantly cosponsor and support this legislation. I urge you and all members of Congress to support this long overdue legislation -- and ask you to reach out to other members of Congress.
When young lives are lost as a result of a problem we have the power to correct, we all bear part of the responsibility. Passing the Safe Schools Improvement Act (H.R. 2262) is a step in the right direction towards righting this tremendous wrong we have committed against our youth through not taking decisive action sooner.
[Your comment here]
I hope you will think of Carl, Jaheem and the countless other students who are victims of anti-LGBT bullying when considering this critical bill. Please, support and vote for the passage of the Safe Schools Improvement Act (H.R. 2262).
Keep up the great work. Look what you've accomplished!
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