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Congressman Mark Pocan

Representing the 2nd District of Wisconsin

Pocan Co-Sponsors Student Non-Discrimination Act

Apr 18, 2013
Press Release
Nearly 9/10 LGBT Students Experience Harassment in School

WASHINGTON—U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02) today co-sponsored the bipartisan Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA), which would prohibit at the federal level discrimination in public schools based on sexual orientation or gender identity. It would also help ensure that every student has the protections needed to grow and prosper in a safe learning environment—free from fear and intimidation. 

The bill was introduced today in advance of tomorrow’s National Day of Silence, which brings attention to the name-calling, bullying and harassment directed at LGBT youth. Surveys show that nearly nine out of every 10 LGBT students have experienced harassment in school. Earlier today, Pocan observed the National Day of Silence on the House floor.

“Every day, LGBT students across the country are subjected to widespread discrimination, bullying and harassment,” said Pocan. “Bullying harms LGBT students and the communities they belong to. It poisons our school culture, deprives our students of their sense of safety, and—all too frequently—has tragic and devastating consequences.

“We must take meaningful, immediate action to end discrimination against LGBT youth in schools. I stand strongly behind the Student Non-Discrimination Act, and the millions of LGBT students it would help. I urge my colleagues to support this important legislation.” 

SNDA would establish a comprehensive federal prohibition against discrimination in public schools based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. It would also forbid schools from discriminating against LGBT students or ignoring harassing behavior. Modeled after Title IX, violation of SNDA would result in the loss of federal funding and give victims a legal cause of action for discrimination in public schools based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.