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Alan Franken

Sen. Franken offers effort to pass anti-bullying legislation

Alan Franken 44%

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Washington, D.C. -- During a press conference today (Thursday, Nov. 18), U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) launched an effort to include his legislation to combat the national crisis of anti-gay bullying and suicides as part of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that Congress will consider next year.

Joined by Minnesotan Tammy Aaberg, whose son committed suicide after he faced in-school bullying, Sen. Franken said the recent spate of suicides of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) students underscores the importance of quickly passing the bill.

“No student should have to dread going to school because they fear being bullied,” said Sen. Franken. “With the spate of recent suicides in Minnesota as a result of anti-LGBT bullying, it's clear that we need to do more to ensure schools are a safe environment for all students. Ending this bullying and harassment in schools will be a priority for education reform in the next Congress."

Sen. Franken’s Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) was introduced in May and it now has 29 Senate cosponsors.

Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) introduced the companion bill in the House which is cosponsored by 126 members. SNDA would protect students who are (or are perceived to be) lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) from harassment, bullying, and violence at school.

The bill would establish a comprehensive federal prohibition against discrimination in public schools based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.  It would also forbid schools from discriminating against LGBT students or ignoring harassing behavior. Modeled after Title IX, violation of SNDA would result in the loss of federal funding and give victims a legal cause of action for discrimination in public schools based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

As a member of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee (HELP), Sen. Franken will take part in crafting the specific provisions that will make up the education bill and today identified his anti-bullying legislation as a priority. Joining Sen. Franken and Aaberg at today’s event were celebrity and safe school advocates, and House and Senate co-sponsors of SNDA.



November 27, 2010<. span>

Source: www.hometownsource.com


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