April 12, 2024

Reps. Takano and Lee, Sen. Schatz Demand Fair Treatment for LGBTQ Youth in Schools

New Resolution Coincides with the Annual Day of (No) Silence

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Reps. Mark Takano (CA-39), Barbara Lee (CA-12), and Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) introduced a resolution to support the Rise Up for LGBTQI+ Youth in Schools Initiative. This resolution was cosponsored by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and coincides with the Annual Day of (No) Silence.

“As a former teacher, I know that school shouldn’t be about just surviving — it should be about thriving,” said Rep. Mark Takano, Co-Chair of the Congressional Equality Caucus. “LGBTQ students across the country who are being targeted by this wave of culture war politics are being denied safety in the educational institutions that are supposed to support them. We need to protect LGBTQ student’s right to thrive, to find joy in learning, to discover their passions, and to embark on the rest of their lives in educational settings that support and affirm them. We have to do better and those in power must demand it.”

“With the rise of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in the last year, it is clear that queer youth need our help. GOP extremists are using the lives of this vulnerable population as political tools at the expense of their mental health and well-being,” said Rep. Barbara Lee, Vice-Chair of the Congressional Equality Caucus. I am proud to stand with Congressman Takano and Senator Schatz to re-introduce the Rise Up for LGBTQI+ Youth in School Initiative. For the sake of our children’s lives, it is imperative for my colleagues to support this resolution to ensure their safety and success in school.”

“Every child should feel safe at school,” said Senator Schatz. “As attacks against LGBTQ+ students increase across the country, we need to take action to protect these students and fight back against the discriminatory policies that harm them. Our resolution pledges support to LGBTQ+ students, and makes clear this discrimination will not be tolerated in the Congress.”

“Also, GLSEN provided this as well for folks: "This year has already been marked by tragic reminders of the persistent bullying and harassment faced by LGBTQI+ students, especially as extremists at every level of government continue to pursue discriminatory policies that exclude youth from equitable access to educational opportunity,” said GLSEN Executive Director Melanie Willingham-Jaggers. “We must reject the politics of hate and division. Today, individuals across the country - including students, educators, activists, and allies - are coming together for GLSEN's annual Day of (No) Silence to fight back against bullying and harassment in schools. I applaud Senator Schatz, Representative Takano, and Representative Lee for their sustained leadership in rising up for LGBTQI+ youth by leading this resolution and showing up with full faith in the boundless potential of the next generation.”

Text to the resolution can be found here.