This year, children from over 1,000 school districts in Texas will go back to school. How many of them will go back to being bullied as well? Did you know less than half of Texas youth feel safe at school? There is simply no excuse for failing to protect school children. The State of Texas is obligated to provide a safe learning environment. To put it another way: bullying is not a necessary part of growing up. Children who are bullied are more likely to skip school, drop out, and attempt suicide.
Under current law, students are not specifically protected from bullying and harassment based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. Current law does not establish a uniform state school conduct policy and does not provide for monitoring or enforcement of independent school district policies.
For the third legislative session, Equality Texas will be working to pass safe schools legislation. It will not pass until lawmakers know it is a top priority for their constituents. During the 81st Legislative Session, Rep. Mark Strama filed a bill relating to safe schools for all youth. While it was voted favorably out of committee, it died on the the floor of the Texas House of Representatives. Will this be the session to finally pass a safe schools bill?
Ask your representative if she or he will take the issues of bullying and harassment seriously by supporting the passage of safe schools legislation - legislation that would protect all children, including children of lesbian or gay parents and teens who are gay.
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Equality Texas advocates and lobbies for the elimination of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.
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