Statement by NCLR Policy Director Maya Rupert

(Washington, D.C., April 18, 2013)—Today, Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) announced the bi-partisan reintroduction of the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA).

Despite the frequency with which youth are targeted for harassment based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity in schools, there are currently no federal comprehensive anti-bullying protections. This legislation would protect students from bullying, violence, and harassment based on actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill enjoys significant support and is being introduced with over 100 original co-sponsors.

Being targeted for harassment at school can have serious negative effects on a young person’s long-term opportunities for success and well-being. It has been linked to poor academic standing, truancy, and multiple adverse health consequences, including depression.

Statement from NCLR Policy Director Maya Rupert, Esq:

“SNDA is a crucial piece of legislation to ensure that all young people have access to a safe and healthy learning environment. All students have the right to go to school free from fear of violence and harassment. We look forward to working with congressional leaders on this legislation and to raise awareness of this serious issue.”