Thursday, April 01, 2010

What's the Student Non Discrimination Act of 2010?

It's HR 4530, and was introduced by Congressman Jared Polis of Colorado on January 27 in the wake of multiple instances of GLBT students being discriminated against.

"Like Title VI for minorities in the 60s and Title IX for women in the 70s," Congressman Polis said at the time of the bill's introduction, "my legislation puts LGBT students on an equal footing with their peers, so they can attend school and get a quality education, free from fear.”

HR 4530, Student Nondiscrimination Act of 2010 in summary:

Would prohibit public school students from being excluded from participating in, or subject to discrimination under, any federally-assisted educational program on the basis of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity or that of their associates. Considers harassment to be a form of discrimination. Prohibits retaliation against anyone for opposing conduct they reasonably believe to be unlawful under this Act. Authorizes federal departments and agencies to enforce these prohibitions by cutting off the educational assistance of recipients found to be violating them. Allows an aggrieved individual to assert a violation of this Act in a judicial proceeding and recover reasonable attorney's fees should they prevail. Deems a state's receipt of federal educational assistance for a program to constitute a waiver of sovereign immunity for conduct prohibited under this Act regarding such program.

The bill so far has 82 co-sponsors so far and is in the following House committees:

House Education and Labor, chaired by Rep. George Miller (D-CA)
House Education and Labor, Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education
House Education and Labor, Subcommittee on Higher Education, Lifelong Learning, and Competitiveness

On Feb 23, 2010 it was referred to the Subcommittee on Higher Education, Lifelong Learning, and Competitiveness.

It's still early in the process, but we can get busy supporting the passage of HR 4530 and making sure this bill expeditiously becomes the law of our land.

In the countless instances of discrimination directed at GLBT students I have documented on TransGriot's pages, I can say with certainty that Congressman Polis' bill is sorely needed.

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