New law most robust in nation, affects all District agencies serving youth
WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign – the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization – applauds District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray for signing into law the most robust anti-bullying bill in the nation. The new law recognizes the prevalence of bullying in all areas of youths’ lives by requiring every District agency that serves youth to have an anti-bullying policy. In addition, the new law enumerates categories for protection including sexual orientation and gender identity. It establishes a taskforce to address bullying and intimidation, protects individuals who report in good faith, and requires that incidents be addressed in a developmentally appropriate manner.
“This new law, the most robust in the nation, not only protects young people in school, but in all agencies across the city that serve our youth,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Today Mayor Gray and members of the DC City Council told every LGBT young person – not just in DC but around the country – that they have value and they have reason to be hopeful.”
HRC is proud to have worked in close coalition with the Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Family Equality Council, and the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League (SMYAL) along with other local advocates to provide model language and work with Council members to make protecting youth from bullying a District priority.
The District of Columbia joins 17 other states in prohibiting bullying on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Nationally, bullying of LGBT students is pervasive. Over 85% of LGBT students report being harassed because of their sexual or gender identity.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.