COLAGE Action Alert: Demand Safe Schools in Georgia

SB 461 ANTI-BULLYING LEGISLATION CLEARS SENATE, HEADS TO HOUSE
COLAGE applauds the efforts of Georgia Equality in moving forward Senate Bill 461 anti-bullying legislation. This week SB 461 passed the Senate and heads to the House for consideration.
SB 461 strengthens Georgia’s anti-bullying statute to accurately define the scope and impact of bullying, requires local school systems to work with faculty, parents, and students to adopt and enforce anti-bullying policies, and makes it easier for students and necessary for school employees to report information about bullying.
SB461 will impact schools in Georgia by promoting safer environments for all students, including those impacted by homophobia and transphobia. Shared COLAGE Atlanta member, Dalton Johnson who is 16 and has gay dads, “Youth should be able to feel safe in an environment that is supposed to let them excel in life. We spend a large portion of our life in schools, we should not feel threatened to gain knowledge.”
COLAGE encourages COLAGErs, their families and allies in Georgia to contact representatives during the next 10 working days of General Session to secure passage of this important piece of legislation. Georgia Equality is taking the lead in urging the legislature to adopt the bill. Visit their website to learn more about SB461, find out how to write your representatives and get involved in the movement to create safer schools.
To connect with the new COLAGE Atlanta chapter (Kickoff event coming soon!), email atlanta@colage.org.
FACTS ON BULLYING AGAINST LGBT YOUTH and STUDENTS WITH LGBT PARENTS
78% of youth report that gay and lesbian youth are teased or bullied in their schools and communities. 93% of youth hear other youth at school or in their neighborhood use words like “fag,” “homo,” “dyke,” “queer,” or “gay” at least once in a while, with 51% hearing them every day (National Mental Health Association). It’s bullying in schools, along with other forms of discrimination and lack of acceptance that lead to: LGBT youth being twice as likely as heterosexual youth to abuse alcohol, and eight times more likely to use cocaine/crack (The American Association of Pediatrics). 48% of LGBT youth having seriously considered suicide, 29% of LGBT youth having seriously attempted suicide, and 30% of all completed adolescent suicides in the U.S. having been committed by LGBT youth (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). Furthermore, a recent report released by GLSEN, COLAGE and the Family Equality Council demonstrated that in a national survey of students with LGBT parents, 42% had been verbally harassed at school in the past year because their parents were LGBT. (GLSEN)

2008-03-12T12:20:41+00:00 March 12th, 2008|

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