Late Friday afternoon the White House announced that President Obama will endorse two pending Congressional anti-bullying bills, the Safe Schools Improvement Act (S. 506) and the Student Non-Discrimination Act (S. 555), which help to make schools safer for LGBT students. The news came on the same day the White House’s Office of Public Engagement held a screening of the movie Bully.
“The president and his administration have taken many steps to address the issue of bullying,” said Shin Inouye, Director of Specialty Media, speaking on behalf of the administration. “He is proud to support the Student Non-Discrimination Act, introduced by Senator Franken and Congressman Polis, and the Safe Schools Improvement Act, introduced by Senator Casey and Congresswoman Linda Sanchez. These bills will help ensure that all students are safe and healthy and can learn in environments free from discrimination, bullying and harassment.”
SSIA currently has 39 Senate co-sponsors and 147 House co-sponsors. SNDA has 37 co-sponsors in the Senate and 157 co-sponsors in the House.
"I'm extremely pleased that President Obama has endorsed my Student Non-Discrimination Act, which will help ensure that LBGT students can attend school free of harassment, discrimination and violence,” said Rep. Polis in a statement following the President’s endorsement. “This endorsement is an enormous step forward for equality, but on a human level it is about the right of any student in America to attend school and learn without the fear of being bullied.”
Take Action: Take a few minutes to contact your own Congressmembers to urge them to support these two critical bills. SSIA will ensure all public schools have bullying and harassment prevention programs, and SNDA will add sexual orientation and gender identity federal protections for LGBT students to ensure a safer learning environment for all. Tell your Congressmembers to join our president and stand up for the rights for all youth nationwide!