Equality Ohio just sent out the below blast on their listserv. Please read and ACT!
Ohio Senate To Leave Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Out Of New Anti-Bullying Legislation
Take Action Now!
CALL! E-MAIL! SIGN THE PETITION!
Tomorrow at 9:30am, the Ohio Senate Education Committee will hear testimony on House Bill 116, which is one of the bills Equality Ohio has been working on. This bill is being considered tomorrow in a form with important provisions relating to training and cyber-bullying, but it DOES NOT INCLUDE enumeration of specific categories protected from bullying, including sexual orientation and gender identity.
It is very important that Ohio’s anti-bullying law enumerate specific categories.
- 56% of surveyed teens in Ohio have been bullied based on their gender, disability, race or sexual orientation.
- More than 9 in 10 LGBT students in Ohio report being bullied.
- Research shows that where there are enumerated policies, there is less bullying and harassment than with generic policies.
- Nearly 18% of Ohio students at schools with generic policies felt unsafe, while only 2% of students at schools with enumerated policies felt unsafe.
- Students who attend schools with enumerated policies are harassed far less often for reasons such as their physical appearance, their sexual orientation or their gender expression and are less likely than other students to report a harassment problem at their schools.
Call Senate Education Chair Peggy Lehner at 614.466.4538 or email her atSD06@senate.state.oh.us today, and tell her to include enumeration with sexual orientation, gender identity and other categories in HB116. Senator Lehner voted for the Equal Housing and Employment Act in the House in the 2008-09 legislative sessions, and she is supportive of LGBT rights in many ways, so please keep the calls positive and supportive of this bill with enumeration.
Other committee members include:
Change starts with you. Make your voice heard for yourself and for our children all over the state. Together, we can make Ohio schools safe!
Please also make a donation to Equality Ohio today so that we have the resources to advocate on behalf of the safe schools bills.
Sign the Safe Schools Petition here