Yesterday, HRC the Hawaii House Committee on Judiciary held a hearing on HB 819, a comprehensive anti-bullying and unanimously voted to move the bill forward. HRC submitted testimony in support of this critical anti-bullying measure. The bill will now be considered by the full Hawaii House.
Senior Legislative Counsel Alison Gill, who submitted the testimony, wrote that this bill protects the safety and well being of all young people Hawaii, including LGBT youth. “Bullying and harassment has often increased adverse effects on marginalized students, including those who identify as LGBT,” she said. “A national survey of LGBT youth showed that nearly 75 percent of LGBT students experience verbal or physical harassment in school.”
Last month, the Hawaii Education Committees in both the House and the Senate held hearings on versions of this bill.
The deck is stacked against young people growing up LGBT 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 LGBT youth are twice as likely as their peers to say they have been physically assaulted, kicked or shoved at school.
HRC supports this legislation and other bills across the country that protect vulnerable young people. Check out HRC’s resource on safe schools and bullying prevention here.