In an email sent out today, Ted Martin of Equality PA reports that Pennsylvania GOP Congressman Charlie Dent has decided to co-sponsor the Safe Schools Improvement Act (SSIA), a bill that “would require schools and districts to adopt policies specifically prohibiting bullying and harassment against all students, including LGBT young people.” Martin goes on to reveal some disturbing statistics about bullying in schools:
LGBT students experience bullying and harassment at alarming rates: 82% report being verbally harassed, 38% report being physically harassed, and 18% report being assaulted at school. The harassment that LGBT students experience far too often has been shown to contribute to high rates of absenteeism and dropout, adverse health consequences, and academic underachievement.
We applaud Allentown native Dent’s efforts to promote LGBT equality in the nation. If you don’t know, he also co-sponsored the Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA), which protects LGBT people in the workplace, and the Uniting American Families Act, which, according to the Human Rights Campaign, allows U.S. citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their same-sex partners (called “permanent partners” in UAFA) for family-based immigration.”firstname.lastname@example.org.