Curbelo, Sánchez Introduce Anti-Bullying Legislation To Protect America’s Students

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Washington, D.C., April 6, 2017 | Joanna Rodriguez (202-225-2778) | comments
“As a former School Board member and the father of two young children in public school, it’s of great importance to me that schools across the country are a safe place where students can learn and thrive without being subject to bullying or harassment.  We need to support policies that promote healthy learning environments and empower students to succeed, while also reducing the risk of avoidable tragedies that can cause incredible pain for families and communities.  I believe that this legislation is an important step towards achieving these goals and I’m proud to join Representative Sanchez in this effort.” 
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Representatives Carlos Curbelo (FL-26) and Linda Sánchez (CA-28) were joined by 11 bipartisan Members of Congress to introduce the “Safe Schools Improvement Act.” The legislation would require school districts to adopt codes of conduct specifically prohibiting bullying and harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and religion. 

“As a former School Board member and the father of two young children in public school, it’s of great importance to me that schools across the country are a safe place where students can learn and thrive without being subject to bullying or harassment,” Curbelo said.  “We need to support policies that promote healthy learning environments and empower students to succeed, while also reducing the risk of avoidable tragedies that can cause incredible pain for families and communities.  I believe that this legislation is an important step towards achieving these goals and I’m proud to join Representative Sanchez in this effort.” 

“No parent wants their child to be bullied at school. Schools must be a safe place for our children to learn and grow and be protected from bullying,” said Sánchez. “The Safe Schools Improvement Act will give parents like me peace of mind to know all our children have an educational environment where they can learn without fear of harassment. I thank Rep. Carlos Curbelo, Human Rights Campaign, GLSEN, and my colleagues for joining me in standing up for safer schools.” 

“GLSEN applauds Reps. Sanchez and Curbelo for their partnership to reintroduce the Safe Schools Improvement Act, federal legislation that would improve school climate for students across the nation,” said GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard. “This longstanding bipartisan bill is a common sense and critical step toward ending bullying and harassment in schools nationwide. It reflects proven best practices in education designed to address deeply hurtful expressions of bias among students. We look forward to working with Members to advance this bill this Congress.” 

“LGBTQ students experience bullying in schools at greater rates than their non-LGBTQ peers, and, when left unchecked, this can lead to seriously dangerous situations for young people,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “This bill will not only help to curb these unacceptable levels of bullying and harassment, they will also give education agencies the data they need to study the problem and do the much-needed work to end it.”

BACKGROUND

The Safe Schools Improvement Act has garnered support from nearly 150 organizations, including the National PTA; the American Federation of Teachers; the American Library Association; Big Brothers Big Sisters of America; the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network; the Human Rights Campaign; the National Council of La Raza; the Anti-Defamation League; and the American Unity Fund. 

Original Co-Sponsors are Representatives Mark Pocan (WI-2), Don Young (AK), Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), Peter King (NY-2), Ruben Gallego (AZ-7), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27), Mike Quigley (IL-5), Tom MacArthur (NJ-3), Krysten Sinema (AZ-9), Dan Kildee (MI-5), and Alan Lowenthal (CA-47).

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