Yesterday, I had an opportunity to meet with Nevada State Senator David Parks in Las Vegas to discuss introducing a bill to protect Nevada youth from school bullying and harassment. Although Nevada has some strong anti-bullying provisions on paper, the state has not yet fully implemented these laws, and many school districts fail to comply with existing state law.
A longtime champion for LGBT rights within the Silver State, Senator Parks has a record for introducing and passing groundbreaking legislation focusing on non-discrimination and safe schools. HRC will be working with the Senator to draft inclusive legislation which ensures that LGBT youth are protected from bullying and assists with school district implementation.
Seventeen states plus the District of Columbia have state laws that specifically protect LGBT students from bullying. These laws are vital because LGBT students face an increased risk of school bullying which can result in greater absenteeism, lower self-esteem, school pushout, lower grades, and lower educational aspirations for such students.