Today, HRC submitted testimony in support of the Safe Schools for All Students Act (SB 393) in New Mexico, which would protect students in New Mexico from bullying and harassment.
In her testimony before the Senate Education Committee, Senior Legislative Counsel Alison Gill outlined the importance of this bill and argued that all youth should be protected from bullying and harassment. “The passage of this anti-bullying legislation is critical to ensure the safety and well-being of young people in New Mexico,” she said. “In New Mexico in 2013, 46 percent (nearly half) of middle school students reported being bullied on school property.”
According to Gill’s testimony, based on research from GLSEN, “nationally, 65 percent of teens have been verbally or physically harassed or assaulted based on a characteristic that makes them different from some of their peers, like their race, religion, or gender, and sixty-five percent of junior high school teachers report that bullying and harassment is a serious problem in their school.”
All students deserve to learn in an environment free from discrimination and harassment. HRC is proud to support this bill and to work with Equality New Mexico to create safe, welcoming schools for all LGBTQ youth.
The deck is stacked against young people growing up LGBTQ in America and the impact of family rejection, bullying, and daily concern for safety weighs heavily on our youth. HRC’s groundbreaking report, Growing Up LGBT in America, found that LGBTQ youth are twice as likely as their peers to say they have been physically assaulted, kicked or shoved at school.
Check out HRC’s resource on safe schools and bullying prevention here.