President Gives Thumbs Up to Federal Anti-Bullying Legislation
President Barack Obama earlier this week endorsed legislation that seeks to protect students who are bullied at school and in some cases, provide for students or their families to collect damages from school districts that don't act swiftly or strongly enough in students' defense.
In a statement, the White House said "the President and his Administration have taken many steps to address the issue of bullying. 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 Sanchez. These bills will help ensure that all students are safe and healthy and can learn in environments free from discrimination, bullying and harassment."
The Student Non-Discrimination Act bans harrassment of LGBT (perceived or identified) students in public elementary and secondary schools. The Safe Schools Improvement Act would require schools to adopt anti-bullying codes of conduct and also submit data regarding bullying to the US Department of Education.
The statement came after a White House screening of the documentary “Bully.”
The President's endorsement of the bill coincides with the National Day of Silence, a day designated by the Gay Lesbian & Straight Education Network to encourage people to take some form of a vow of silence to draw attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools.
Obama has shown support for anti-bullying measures several times, including hosting a summit at the White House on bullying last year and speaking before the national broadcast of another bullying documentary that aired recently on the Cartoon Network.
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