Student Non-Discrimination Act seeks acceptance, support

I have an idea and it is wonderful; I want to save lives. I received an email a couple of weeks ago from Senator Al Franken of Minnesota. As a New Yorker, it was strange to receive an email from an elected official outside my state. It was an email about a bill called “The Student Non-Discrimination Act” that would protect the rights and freedoms of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered) students in our public schools. Our current federal laws protect us from discrimination against our race, religion, sex and country of origin. This bill would add sexual orientation and gender identity to this list. The bill would help support schools to protect LGBT students and allow teachers to act in their defense without having to worry about losing their jobs. The bill would also make it easier for a parent to call the school if they felt that their child was in danger without being ignored for their concerns. The bill would also allow Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) clubs to flourish in public schools throughout the country as a new standard among schools. The GSA clubs would serve as a place where students could meet not only to discuss their differences, but to also learn about their similarities. The bill would assist in ending the bullying, torment and suicides of LGBT students, and those perceived to be, but most importantly it would open the door to a new age of freedom, peace and equality for students.

This bill has not been signed into law yet. It is a tragedy that kids are killing themselves because of the obsolete opinions and warped perceptions of a few. I couldn’t imagine coming home to find my child dead from hanging himself or herself or overdosing because the system refused to give students the protection and support that they needed. It is clear to me that some of our elected officials do not know right from wrong and need our voices to tell them what needs to be done.

Come on New York. Let’s set a standard for the world. Regardless of your religious views or political ideology, I believe that we can get behind a bill that will ultimately save and improve the lives of youthful, talented, promising Americans. I ask that you contact your senator, call them. The Senate switchboard number is 1-202-224-3121. Flood their email bins and let them know that ‘The Student Non-Discrimination Act’ needs to pass. And when you’re done, tell your friends in other counties and states to do the same. Save lives, breed unity, and know that tomorrow can be brighter than today – if you enable it, if you empower it, if you fight for it.

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