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Protect LGBT Students from Harassment and Bullying

Every student should feel safe in American schools. Sadly Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender youth continue to face rampant harassment and bullying. Tell Congress to reintroduce and pass the Safe Schools Improvement Act to help protect our students.

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Like all students, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students deserve a safe place to learn. Yet a steady stream of reports of LGBT youth being bullied -- and harming themselves, including committing suicide, as a result -- reminds us that school is often not a safe haven. Nearly one in five hate crimes takes place on school grounds. Students can be cruel and, sadly, school faculty and administrators are not always understanding or equipped to help students who are suffering LGBT discrimination.
The Safe Schools Improvement Act (SSIA) (H.R.1199/S.403) would ensure that all school districts have clear and comprehensive student conduct policies prohibiting bullying and harassment, require that districts report data regarding bullying and harassment, and implement professional development programs to help school administrators and staff address bullying and harassment.

Jewish Values

Judaism teaches that all human beings are created b'tselem elohim – in the Divine image. Genesis 1:27 tells us that “God created humans in God’s own image, in the image of God, God created them: male and female, God created them.” This belief that the stamp of the divine is present in all humans is fundamental to Reform Judaism; we cannot tolerate discrimination against or bullying of any person for any reason. Moreover, the Torah instructs, “do not stand idly by while your neighbor bleeds” (Leviticus 19:16). Because we value human life, we must work to make life better for LGBT youth and end the harassment they face in our schools.

Take Action

Urge your Members of Congress to encourage the reintroduction of the Safe Schools Improvement Act (SSIA) and to co-sponsor it once it is reintroduced. Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202.224.3121, or send an e-mail by entering your zip code below.