WASHINGTON, DC – July 25, 2013 – Log Cabin Republicans (LCR) and GLSEN, The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) today commended Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) for becoming a co-sponsor of the Safe Schools Improvement Act (SSIA). Murkowski becomes the latest Republican to announce her support of the bi-partisan federal legislation that addresses bullying and harassment for all students, ensuring the development of comprehensive, enumerated anti-bullying and anti-harassment policies in schools nationwide to include sexual orientation and gender identity.
“Bullying affects an estimated one out of every three students in America ages 12-18 years, and all too frequently leads to academic underperformance, poor self-image and potentially opens the door to other counterproductive behaviors,” said Murkowski. “As the mother of two boys, I see the Safe Schools Improvement Act as a proactive step that can be taken to cut down on bullying behavior and improve how we deal with it – because every factor that makes walking through a school hallway more difficult or uncomfortable for our children undercuts their bright potential.”
The Safe Schools Improvement Act is a zero-cost bill that would require schools to implement comprehensive anti-bullying policies that address bullying and harassment and ensure the safety and well-being of all students. No federal law or policy exists that requires schools to adopt policies to address bullying and harassment.
“We thank Senator Murkowski for joining her Republican colleague Senator Mark Kirk and supporting the Safe Schools Improvement Act that ensures our future leaders are safe in our nation’s schools,” said Gregory T. Angelo, Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director. “It’s deeply encouraging to see this bill move ahead in Congress with strong Republican support. Log Cabin Republicans is proud to continue working with our allies at GLSEN to add to this growing list of Republican members of Congress who stand behind this important legislation.”
“GLSEN applauds Senator Murkowski for joining the increasing number of co-sponsors that understand that school harassment is not a partisan issue,” said Dr. Eliza Byard, GLSEN’s Executive Director. “Safe and affirming schools allow students to receive a quality education without the harmful distractions that impact their academic success and personal wellbeing. We are grateful that Senator Murkowski understands the significance and urgency behind passing this piece of legislation.”
Senator Murkowski joins a growing list of Republican congressional supporters that includes Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) as well as Congressman Charles Dent (R-PA), Congressman Christopher Gibson (R-NY), Congressman Michael Grimm (R-NY), Congressman Richard Hanna (R-NY), Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Congressman Jon Runyan (R-NJ), and Congressman Don Young (R-AK) in the House. GLSEN regularly partners with policy makers on safe schools issues pertaining to LGBT youth. GLSEN’s Office of Public Policy works with elected officials and other government leaders at the local, state and federal levels to ensure that the best and most inclusive safe schools policies are considered, passed and implemented.
GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established in 1990, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community. For information on GLSEN’s research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit www.glsen.org.