Freedom to Attend Safe Schools
We call on all Christians and citizens of good will to confront their own fears about homosexuality and to curb the humor and discrimination that offend homosexual persons. We understand that having a homosexual orientation brings with it enough anxiety, pain and issues related to self-acceptance without society bringing additional prejudicial treatment.
-- Human Sexuality: A Catholic Perspective for Education and Lifelong Learning, 1991
FREEDOM TO ATTEND SAFE SCHOOLS
Bullying and harassment of students who are, or are perceived to be, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) is widespread. While current federal law provides important support to promote school safety, it does not comprehensively and expressly focus on issues of bullying or harassment, and in no way addresses the challenges faced by LGBT youth in our nation’s schools.
In the 2007 National School Climate Survey conducted by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), nearly three-fifths of students reported feeling unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation, and more than a third felt unsafe because of their gender expression. In addition, 44% of LGBT students surveyed reported experiencing physical harassment and 22.1% reported being physically assaulted at school in the last year.
The Safe Schools Improvement Act of 2010
The Safe Schools Improvement Act (SSIA) would amend the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (part of the No Child Left Behind Act) to require schools and districts receiving federal funds to adopt codes of conduct specifically prohibiting bullying and harassment, including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The Act would also require that states report data on bullying and harassment to the Department of Education.
Call or write your U.S. Senators and Representative and state “I am a Catholic and a member of Catholics for Equality from your district and state and believe that children attending our publicly financed schools must be protected from bulling and harassment, including bullying for being or being percieved to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. I ask that you support the Safe Schools Improvement Act of 2010.” (S. 3739 / H.R. 2262)
Capitol Hill Switchboard: 202.224.3121
Contact and Write Your Congressional Representative: http://writerep.house.gov
For more information about the Safe Schools Improvement Act:
Human Rights Campaign: http://www.hrc.org/issues/12142.htm