Kerry Co-Sponsors Student Non-Discrimination Act To Help Protect Gay Students In Public Schools
Senator John Kerry announced he is an original co-sponsor of the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) which was introduced by Senator Franken (D-MN) earlier today.
The SNDA would prohibit public schools from discriminating against students based on real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Furthermore, it prohibits schools from ignoring threats and discriminatory actions against gay students.
A study by doctors at Nationwide Children's Hospital found that LGBT youth are bullied two to three times more often than their heterosexual peers. Studies show that harassment LGBT students experience increases their likelihood of skipping school, underperforming academically and eventually dropping out. It can also have an extremely detrimental effect on their physical and mental health. Left unchecked, this harassment can lead to life-threatening violence and even suicide.
"Just last spring an 11 year-old Springfield boy kill himself because his classmates called him gay. Kids are in school to learn, not to face harassment or violence. We know the devastating consequences that can come when discrimination in school is ignored. I hope with SNDA we can prevent future tragedies," said Senator John Kerry.
Kerry has long been a supporter of state and federal measures that aim to end discrimination against gays in the workplace and in the military, and to provide equal access to benefits such as health insurance, family medical leave, and other basic legal protections. He has always supported the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).