Press Release: Family Equality Council Issues Statement on Re-Introduction of Student Non-Discrimination Act and White House Anti-Bullying Conference

CONTACT: Steve Majors | Communications Dir.

Boston, MA – (Mar. 10, 2011) – Family Equality Council, the
nation’s largest organization working on behalf of the two
million children of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender families
(LGBT), released the following statement in response to the
important developments today in efforts to create safe schools for
all American families.

“Today, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn) and Rep. Jared Polis (D- Colo.)
reintroduced the Student Non-Discrimination Act; proposed
legislation which would prohibit discrimination in public schools
on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity,” said
Family Equality Council Executive Director Jennifer Chrisler.
“This action, along with Tuesday’s reintroduction of the Safe
Schools Improvement Act, represents an important step in the effort
to protect all children from bullying and discrimination in

Earlier today, President Obama took another important step by
beginning a national conversation
about bullying during a White House conference. We applaud the
administration’s leadership on the issue and encourage them to
continue that dialogue with lawmakers, parents, educators and

But the conversation must continue not only in Washington but in
statehouses and school districts across the country. As Americans,
we must talk honestly about the crisis of bullying happening in our
schools. Bullying has affected the ability of some kids to learn,
it has left them with physical and emotional scars and in some
cases it has taken the lives of kids who were driven to

Family Equality Council is working to ensure that the LGBT
community is heard in these conversations. Studies show that LGBT
children and the children of LGBT parents are among the most
vulnerable to bullying, harassment and discrimination in schools.
But their voices are often silenced by policies and practices that
prohibit students from talking honestly to teachers about the
reasons they are bullied including their sexual orientation and
gender identity or the orientation and identities of their parents
or classmates.

Today we call on Congress to move swiftly to pass the Student
Non-Discrimination Act and the Safe Schools Improvement act to
ensure that no child faces physical or emotional harassment because
of who they are, who their parents are or who they count among
their friends.

As a country, we now have an opportunity to speak with one voice
and insist that every school be a safe place for our kids to learn,
grow and be themselves.