Today, Congresswoman Linda Sánchez (CA-39) released the following statement after President Obama endorsed the Safe Schools Improvement Act, which Congresswoman Sánchez introduced to provide schools with the resources they need to prevent school bullying and reduce rising drop-out rates.
"President Obama has taken an active role in bullying prevention, and I'm honored that he is putting his support behind the Safe Schools Improvement Act," said Congresswoman Sánchez. "Every student has the right to a safe learning environment, free from threats and intimidation. Bullying is destructive behavior that not only damages a student's ability to learn, but also leaves the victims with deep emotional scars."
The White House released this statement in support of anti-bullying legislation: "The President and his Administration have taken many steps to address the issue of bullying. He is proud to support the Student Non-Discrimination Act, introduced by Senator Franken and Congressman Polis, and the Safe Schools Improvement Act, introduced by Senator Casey and Congresswoman Linda Sánchez. These bills will help ensure that all students are safe and healthy and can learn in environments free from discrimination, bullying and harassment."
The Safe Schools Improvement Act (H.R. 1648) would require schools and school districts to ban bullying and harassment. This proposed legislation would ensure that schools protect students, whether they are being targeted based on their race, gender, real or perceived sexual orientation, or any other basis.
H.R. 1648 has garnered support from broad range of organizations, including the American Federation of Teachers; the American Library Association; Big Brothers Big Sisters of America; the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network; the Human Rights Campaign; and the National Council of La Raza.
Congresswoman Sánchez introduced The Safe Schools Improvement Act in the previous two sessions of Congress. Because of her leadership in advancing anti-bullying legislation, Congresswoman Sánchez joined President Obama at a White House conference on bullying prevention in March 2011.