Senator Al Franken will be offering an amendment to the Every Child Achieves Act which will help protect students who are lesbian, gay and transgender (LGBT) from harassment and bullying.  LDF has signed on to a letter with nearly 100 advocacy organizations in support of the amendment:

July 7, 2015

Dear Senator:

On behalf of the 97 organizations below, we write to urge you to vote in favor of the Student Non-Discrimination Act, which Senator Franken plans to offer as an amendment to the Every Child Achieves Act.

Students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) or perceived to be LGBT are subject to well-documented, pervasive discrimination, including harassment, bullying, intimidation, and violence. These students are deprived of equal educational opportunities in public schools across our nation. Numerous studies demonstrate that discrimination at school has contributed to high rates of absenteeism, dropout, adverse health consequences, and academic under-achievement among LGBT youth. When left unchecked, such discrimination can lead to – and has led to – dangerous situations for youth.

Federal statutory protections currently address discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, and disability. However, statutory protections based on sexual orientation or gender identity are limited. The Student Non-Discrimination Act would explicitly prohibit public schools from discriminating against any student on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. The legislation also protects students who associate with LGBT people, including students with LGBT parents and friends.

As our nation’s primary statute promoting equal access to education, it is vital that ESEA ensures that every student is able to attend school in a safe, inclusive environment free from discrimination and harassment. Decades of civil rights history show that civil rights laws are effective in decreasing discrimination against specific vulnerable groups. It is time that we extend these laws to explicitly protect LGBT youth.

Again, we urge you to vote in favor of the Student Non-Discrimination Act amendment to the Every Child Achieves Act.

 

Sincerely,

 

Advocates for Youth

African American Ministers In Action – Equal Justice Task Force

AIDS United

ALSO Youth

American Association of University Women (AAUW)

American Civil Liberties Union

American Federation of Teachers

American Humanist Association

American Psychological Association

American School Counselor Association

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)

Anti-Defamation League

Association of University Centers on Disabilities

Athlete Ally

Augustus F. Hawkins Foundation

Bend the Arc Jewish Action

Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center

Campus Pride

CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers

Colorado Springs Queer Collective

Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates

Education Law Center

Equality Federation

Family Equality Council

FORGE, Inc.

Futures Without Violence

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)

Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN)

Gay-Straight Alliance Network

GO! Athletes

Gwinnett SToPP

Healthy Teen Network

Human Rights Campaign

Interfaith Alliance

International Gay and Lesbian Football Association

Lambda Legal

League of United Latin American Citizens

Lesbian Health Initiative (LHI)

LGBT Network

LGBT Visitor Center on Miami Beach

Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth

Long Island LGBT Community Center

Los Angeles LGBT Center

Marriage Equality USA

Maryland Women’s Heritage Center

Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE)

National Asia Pacific American Women’s Forum

National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth

National Association of School Psychologists

National Association of Secondary School Principals

National Black Justice Coalition

National Center for Lesbian Rights

National Center for Transgender Equality

National Coalition for LGBT Health

National Council of Jewish Women

National Council of La Raza (NCLR)

National Education Association

National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund

National Network for Youth

National Organization for Women

National Urban League

National Women’s Law Center

New Leaders

NMAC

Nollie Jenkins Family Center, Inc.

People For the American Way

PFLAG National

Phoenix Pride LGBT Center

Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Pride at Work

Queens LGBT Center (QCenter)

Resource Center

Secular Coalition for America

Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS)

SHAPE America

Southern Education Foundation

Southern Poverty Law Center

Teach for America

Teach Plus

The Bully Project

The Center: 7 Rivers LGBTQ Connection

The DC Center for the LGBT Community

The Gay and Lesbian Center of Southern Nevada

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Montrose Center

The Trevor Project

Transathlete.com

Transgender Law Center

True Colors Fund

Union for Reform Judaism

United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society

URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity

Women’s Law Project

Women’s Sports Foundation

Youth on Board