Today at noon, District of Columbia youth, teachers, families, and activists will gather with lawmakers at the Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, to celebrate the reintroduction of the Bullying and Prevention Act of 2011 (B19-85) and rally for a bully free DC. This critical bill would require DC Public Schools and other District agencies that work with youth to pass comprehensive anti-bullying policies that will empower educators and administrators to effectively stop, fix and prevent the problems of bullying and harassment.
Tragically, our nation's schools face longstanding challenges in preventing and effectively responding to instances of bullying and harassment. The U.S. Department of Education has noted this problem and recognized that bullying and harassment “affects nearly one in every three American school children in grades six through ten.” Whether motivated because of a student’s real or perceived race, sex, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other characteristic, bullying and harassment interferes with a student's ability to learn. Sadly, we know all too well how this behavior impacts our LGBT loved ones. In fact, nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT students nationwide report that they have been harassed in the past year due to their sexual orientation or gender identity alone.
PFLAG remains committed to promoting the health and well-being of LGBT school community family members and friends. That is why we plan to rally for a bully free DC and urge the Council to swiftly pass B19-85 into law to help prevent bullying and harassment, building safer schools for all students today! To learn more about our DC chapter’s safe schools work, please click here to visit their website.